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Saturday marks 20th National Drug Take Back Day

Published: Apr. 24, 2021 at 4:49 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - If spring cleaning is on your agenda this weekend, it’s the perfect time to clean out your medicine cabinet too.

Saturday, April 24, 2021 is the 20th National Drug Take Back Day.

The twice-annual event comes from the DEA in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, and other organizations.

In the last 10 years, the DEA has taken in 6,800 tons of unused drugs at these Take Back Days.

The last one was in October of 2020. At that time, Vermont had 55 drop off sites. 29 of those were local police departments, like Stowe.

“As you see in our lobby, we have a drop box for all year long to take drugs back. But having the Drug Take Back Days, which has been going on for several years, it just is a reminder to everybody it’s time to get rid of your prescription drugs. There’s a lot of places that are doing it, including Stowe, so come and dispose of them,” says Stowe Police Chief Donald Hull.

According to the DEA, nearly 4,500 pounds of drugs were collected on the last date in Vermont alone.

At a press conference on Friday, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said he did not want the pandemic to overshadow an otherwise significant issue.

“More than half of the people who misuse prescription drugs get it from a friend or relative, often straight out of the medicine cabinet. If you no longer need your medication, please do your part and dispose of it safely,” says Dr. Levine.

According to a 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers last year. 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019.

To find a location closest to you, visit the DEA’s drop-off locator.

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