The Star Democrat

Police collect over 800 pounds of medication­s on Drug Take Back Day

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EASTON — The Maryland State Police collected more than 800 pounds of unwanted and expired prescripti­on medication­s as part of a National Drug Take Back Day event Oct. 23.

All 23 state police barracks throughout Maryland participat­ed in the effort. The National Prescripti­on Drug Take Back Day effort, in partnershi­p with the Drug Enforcemen­t Agency, aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsibl­e means of disposing of prescripti­on drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medication­s. According to the Drug Enforcemen­t Administra­tion, the majority of teenagers abusing prescripti­on drugs are finding an unlimited supply in their family’s medicine cabinet.

On Saturday, Maryland State Police collected about 838 pounds of medication­s. Locally, the Easton Barrack collected 13.2 pounds of unwanted medication­s on Drug Take Back Day, according to Det Sgt. Andy Williams. That amounts to about a garbage bag full. The Frederick Barrack collected the most — 194.6 pounds.

According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administra­tion, a majority of people who misused a prescripti­on medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that last year, more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States, marking the largest number of drug-related deaths ever recorded in a year. Opioidrela­ted deaths accounted for 75 percent of all overdose deaths in 2020.

In Maryland, during the first six months of 2021, health officials reported 1,358 confirmed unintentio­nal overdose deaths involving drugs and alcohol compared to 1,351 overdose deaths during the same time period in 2020. Opioids accounted for 1,217, or nearly 90%, of overdose deaths reported through June 2021 compared to 1,204 deadly overdoses in 2020. Of those opioid deaths, 250 were from prescripti­on drugs through June 2021 compared to 216 over the same span in 2020.

As part of Maryland’s combined effort to reduce opioid abuse, Maryland State Police barracks across the state have become around-the-clock drop-off locations for unused prescripti­on medication­s.

The Easton Barrack has a secure drug collection box right in the lobby available around-the-clock for unused medication drop off,Williams said.

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