BELMONT — The Police Department is a one of growing number of that have added a prescription drug drop-off box to allow people to safely and properly dispose of expired or unneeded drugs.
Through a donation from CVS, the drop off box was made available to the Police Department at no cost.
Lt. Richard Mann said pharmacies are not allowed to take back certain drugs, such as pain relievers and stimulants, because they are controlled substances. Take-back days hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration are held occasionally and were only on a certain day within the year.
Our major concern, said Mann, was that our residents felt they only had one of two options for medication disposal, throwing them away or flushing them down the toilet.
Mann said a common concern with people flushing old prescriptions down the toilet that some of those drugs could eventually end up back in the water supply. Throwing a bottle away in the trash does not always mean it won't end up in the wrong hands.
A situation in Belmont earlier this year drew our attention to this issue when drugs left in a home ended up in hands of a child who, after ingesting them, was rushed to Lakes Region General Hospital and later transferred to Dartmouth Hitchcock for complications from the overdose. The child eventually recovered but it was a long and stressful event for the family.
The Belmont Police Department already has a drug collection program in place but it was coordinated with the national Drug Enforcement Agency collection effort and only saw the department doing a collection of unwanted drugs one designated day a year. That meant that in some cases residents were holding dangerous drugs in their homes for up to eleven months before they could dispose of them.
The Belmont Police Department met the multi-pronged requirements to apply for a prescription drop off box: The location must be accessible to the public; the agency must already have had the means of disposing of drugs and the box must be kept in a secure area, which is our lobby, said Mann.
Now that we have a permanent collection box our residents have the ability to dispose of medications locally as the need arises.
Residents can drop off unwanted medications without question in the lobby of the police station Monday thru Friday 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
No liquid medications or needles can be accepted in the drop off box.
The Belmont Fire Department can assist with needle collection and disposal if necessary.
If you have any questions about medication disposal please feel free to call us at the Belmont Police Department 267-8350.
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