Permanent drug drop-off boxes unveiled - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Permanent drug drop-off boxes unveiled

NORTHAMPTON, MA (WSHM) -

Permanent drug drop-off boxes have been unveiled throughout Hampshire and Franklin counties and Athol.

"One of the biggest crisis' in America for our youth now is opiate addiction," said Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan. "And, abusing prescription medication has become rampant. One in seven youth 12 and over have used prescription drugs to get high in the last year."

The new boxes, which are set up at 15 police stations throughout the district, are expected to bring in up to two tons of unused prescription drugs each year.

"The chance of a young person abusing drugs goes up by having them available," said Sullivan. "Seventy percent of the youth get these medications from their friends or family."

In years past the area has collected unwanted drugs on National Prescription Drug Day and has seen overwhelming results.

"We actually collected more in Hampshire and Franklin County than the entire state of Rhode Island and Vermont the last three drop offs," said Sullivan.

And, in addition to helping to prevent teens from abusing prescription drugs, the hope is that the boxes will help elders by allowing them to get rid of their unused drugs to avoid confusion and prevent theft as well.

"We often times see cases of theft of drugs and persons with disabilities by in-home health aides, their loved ones," said Chris Geffin the NWDA's coordinator for elders and persons with disabilities.

Putting drugs in the trash or down the toilet can have extremely negative environmental impacts. One of the added benefits of the boxes is to decrease the number of drugs that are improperly disposed of.

"These types of medications basically cause the bacteria that lives in the soils to become immune," said Charles Kaniecki, the state district health officer for Western Mass. "When you have higher immunity to bacteria then what happens is when we become ill our drugs that we are using have less of an effect on us."

And, by making these boxes permanent, the district is expecting to bring in one to two tons of drugs per year.

"Whether it's aspirin all the way up to oxycodone, we want to get every single prescription, non-prescription medicine that is no longer being used into these boxes," said Sullivan.

All drugs in pill form are accepted, though no liquids or needles are allowed in the box.

The drugs will be collected by the sheriff's departments from all the drop-off locations once a month and disposed of free of charge by Covanta Energy in Agawam.

Copyright 2013 WSHM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Grief counselors available, community mourns loss of student

    Grief counselors available, community mourns loss of student

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 5:37 AM EDT2017-05-23 09:37:37 GMT
    Tuesday, May 23 2017 5:37 AM EDT2017-05-23 09:37:37 GMT
    Western Mass News photoWestern Mass News photo
    Grief counselors will be available Tuesday at Springfield Public Schools, as students and faculty remember 17-year old Luis Gomez. Gomez was last seen on Saturday with his friends at Watershops pond, where a body was recovered Monday.  It was at the pond Monday, where police found a body after hours and hours of searching. They were assisted by state and environmental police in their search.  The Commerce high school junior loved basketball. His sister...More >>
    Grief counselors will be available Tuesday at Springfield Public Schools, as students and faculty remember 17-year old Luis Gomez. Gomez was last seen on Saturday with his friends at Watershops pond, where a body was recovered Monday.  It was at the pond Monday, where police found a body after hours and hours of searching. They were assisted by state and environmental police in their search.  The Commerce high school junior loved basketball. His sister...More >>
  • Prosecutor: Man's suicide attempt killed his girlfriend instead

    Prosecutor: Man's suicide attempt killed his girlfriend instead

    Tuesday, May 23 2017 4:38 AM EDT2017-05-23 08:38:00 GMT
    Tuesday, May 23 2017 4:44 AM EDT2017-05-23 08:44:27 GMT
    A judge has entered a not guilty plea for Victor Sibson, an Alaska man accused of killing his girlfriend after he shot himself and the bullet traveled through his head and hit his girlfriend in the chest. (Anchorage Police Department via AP)A judge has entered a not guilty plea for Victor Sibson, an Alaska man accused of killing his girlfriend after he shot himself and the bullet traveled through his head and hit his girlfriend in the chest. (Anchorage Police Department via AP)

    An Alaska man is accused of killing his girlfriend after he shot himself and the bullet traveled through his head and hit his girlfriend in the chest. 

    More >>

    An Alaska man is accused of killing his girlfriend after he shot himself and the bullet traveled through his head and hit his girlfriend in the chest. 

    More >>
  • EXCLUSIVE

    Laura Reilly accused of misleading police in Jo Ringer disappearance

    Laura Reilly accused of misleading police in Jo Ringer disappearance

    Monday, May 22 2017 5:09 PM EDT2017-05-22 21:09:12 GMT
    Monday, May 22 2017 5:14 PM EDT2017-05-22 21:14:24 GMT

    At just 19-years-old, Savanah Ringer has dedicated her life to finding her mother. Her mother, Joanne ‘Jo’ Ringer of Clarksburg has been missing for months.

    More >>

    At just 19-years-old, Savanah Ringer has dedicated her life to finding her mother. Her mother, Joanne ‘Jo’ Ringer of Clarksburg has been missing for months.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly