Franklin Countys First News

Maine law enforcement collects more than 31,000 pounds of medication; drop boxes still available

Left to right: Nicole Ditata, HMP director; Christine Bruen, HCC program associate; Jack Peck, Farmington police chief; and Greg Patterson, Wal-Mart store manager.

The presentation of Farmington's drug lock box in 2014. Left to right: Nicole Ditata, HMP director; Christine Bruen, HCC program associate; Jack Peck, Farmington police chief; and Greg Patterson, Wal-Mart store manager.

Law enforcement agencies in Maine collected a record high amount of old, expired and unwanted medication as part of Saturday's National Drug Take Back Initiative. The 31,960 pounds of drugs were incinerated Monday afternoon at ecomaine in Portland, taking the substances out of medicine cabinets and keeping them away from the water supply.

Farmington Police Department collected approximately 350 pounds of medication, according to Chief Jack Peck. Farmington, Jay and Rangeley all participated in the event, as did the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.

Farmington police also maintain a year-round collection box at their office at 116 Franklin Avenue. Located in the lobby, the lock box was donated to the department by the Healthy Community Coalition of Greater Franklin County with the support of Wal-Mart in February 2014.

Peck noted that the box is available for the community to drop off unwanted medications from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. during the week.

Jay Police Department will also be running a year-round lock box, thanks to a Drug Free Communities grant administered by HCC. The box will be located in the police station lobby at 340 Main Street and available to public between the normal business hours of 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Safely disposing of unused medication reduces the chance that others may accidentally take or intentionally misuse the medication. According to the 2015 Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey, nearly 15 percent of Maine teens said they had taken a prescription drug not prescribed to them – sometimes taken from a family member.

Items accepted for the boxes include: prescriptions and over-the-counter solid medications, tablets and capsules, patches, prescription ointments, vitamins, samples and pet medicines.

All pharmaceutical drugs that are being disposed of in the Med Return box need to be in a sealed container such as the original bottle or a zip-lock bag. They should not be disposed of loosely. Personal information should be removed or blotted out with permanent marker.

Items not accepted include: hydrogen peroxide, intravenous solutions, injectables, needles, inhalers, aerosol cans, over-the-counter ointments, lotions or liquids, medications for businesses or clinics and thermometers.

For more information about safe prescription drug disposal or to learn more about Healthy Community Coalition’s Drug Free Communities grant, please contact Program Coordinator Lorri Brown at 779-2409 or ljbrown@fchn.org.

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2 Responses »

  1. How can there be that much.

  2. Because there is a pill for everything... and most everyone that sees something advertised on TV they want to try it...

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