Cape Cod Police Departments Collect Unused Prescription Drugs in Effort to Stem Crisis

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Law enforcement officials gather with drug recovery specialists and members of the media to launch National Drug Take Back Day Saturday in Yarmouth

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Law enforcement officials gather with drug recovery specialists and members of the media to launch National Drug Take Back Day Saturday in Yarmouth

YARMOUTH – Police departments across Cape Cod took part in the 8th National Drug Prescription Take-Back Saturday in an effort to get unwanted and unused prescription drugs off the street.

Law enforcement partnered with recovery specialists, local officials and media to increase awareness about the addiction crisis gripping the region.

Drug recovery specialists say 80% of the people who end up opiate addicted begin that addition with prescription drugs.

“Seventy percent of those who begin using any type of prescription medication get it from a friend or relative, usually out of a medicine cabinet,” said Executive Director of the Cape Cod Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative of Cape Cod Healthcare, Cheryl Bartlett.

The DEA had terminated the national take-back effort before reversing course this year. Bartlett said without national help, local police departments would incur a major cost to dispose of the drugs.

CCB MEDIA PHOTO Boxes piled up at Yarmouth police headquarters with up millions of dollars in unused prescription drugs

CCB MEDIA PHOTO
Boxes piled up at Yarmouth police headquarters with up to $6 million in unused prescription drugs

At Yarmouth police headquarters, an evidence room contains several large boxes of prescription drugs collected in recent months that had a street value between $4 and $6 million.

Gosnold of Cape Cod Director of Prevention Patricia Mitrokostas said prevention and early education is critical in stemming the crisis. She said doctors, pharmacists and family members have to be part of the solution.

“It’s really an opportunity to raise awareness of the resources we have here on Cape Cod. Each of the police departments has a drug kiosk that people can drop off their unused medication in,” said Barnstable County Human Services Director Beth Albert.

She also wanted residents to know that while Saturday was a day to raise awareness, drugs can be dropped off on a year-round basis.

Most departments have a drop off box available in the lobby 24 hours a day for medication. All drop-offs are anonymous and no paperwork will is necessary.

Needles and Epi-pens cannot be accepted. All liquid medications should be in double-sealed Ziploc containers.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com News Director

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