The Star Democrat
Police collect over 800 pounds of medications on Drug Take Back Day
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.