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Saturday, February 24 News

Prescription drug 'Take Back" set April 26 in Westport

The Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration are giving people a chance to safely dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs during its "Take Back" program on April 26.

Residents can bring prescriptions to Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.

The service is free and anonymous -- no questions asked.

Last October, Americans turned in 324 tons, or more than 647,000 pounds, of prescription drugs at more than 4,114 sites staffed by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners, according to a police press release.

When those results are combined with what was collected in its seven previous "Take Back" events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 3.4 million pounds -- 1,700 tons --of prescription pills.

Medicines that languish at home are susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, the release said.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses caused by these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet, the officials said.

In addition, people are advised that a common method for disposing of unused medicines -- flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the rash -- also pose safety and health hazards, according to the release.