May 29, 2022

Clean out your medicine cabinets; Help prevent prescription drug misuse

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East Providence, RI –With opioid overdose deaths increasing, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announces its 21st Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, April 30th, 2022. The DEA will partner with The East Providence Police Department, the City of East Providence and the East Providence Prevention Coalition for Take Back Day, continuing a decade long partnership. At last year’s event, the DEA collected a large amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the nation’s public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs, with 128 pounds being collected right here in East Providence, thanks to residents like you!

On Saturday, April 30th, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the DEA, the City of East Providence, the East Providence Police Department, and the East Providence Prevention Coalition (EPPC) will once again provide residents the opportunity to prevent prescription drug misuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The event will be held at the East Providence Police Station located at 750 Waterman Ave. The service is safe, free, confidential, anonymous, environmentally friendly, and most importantly could save a life.

In addition to preventing overdose deaths, the Take Back Day initiative addresses the vital public safety and public health issue of prescription drug addiction. According to DrugFree.com, 90 percent of prescription drug addictions begin in the teenage years and Rhode Island has the startling statistic as leading the nation in teens abusing drugs. As many as 1 in 4 teens report taking a prescription drug that was not prescribed to them, with most obtaining them from their parents, friends or family member’s medicine cabinet. In addition, state health officials have seen an increase in teens misusing over-the-counter substances, like Tylenol, to attempt suicide.

“Medicines that languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse, abuse, and theft,” EPPC Coordinator Madeline Marlow said. “Rates of prescription drug misuse are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

“We must do all that we can to stem overdose fatalities and reduce access to these substances,” Marlow added. “With studies indicating a majority of misused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medication is essential in preventing unauthorized access and overdose deaths.”

DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other illegal drugs will not be accepted. DEA will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed.

Clean out your medicine cabinets and join other members of the community on April 30, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the East Providence Police Station.

Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way the DEA, the East Providence Police Dept. and the EPPC is working to reduce addiction and prevent overdose deaths.

For more information on the October 23, 2022. Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com

For more information on the state of RI’s “Count It! Lock It! Drop It!” and Over the Counter Does Not Mean On The Counter campaigns, go to www.riprevention.org 
For more information regarding substance misuse prevention, contact the East Providence Prevention Coalition at eppc@eastprovidenceri.gov  or call 401-435-1923.

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