September 27, 2014
Medford Police Department and Health Department have been participating in the Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days since there inception in 2010. The DEA recognized that Take-Back Days are needed because the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as originally written didn’t provide a way for patients, caregivers, and pet owners to dispose of controlled substance (CS) medications such as painkillers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and stimulants like ADHD drugs.
Prescription medications were being flushed down the toilet or disposed in the trash which poses environmental risks and may led to diversion. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends participation in Take Back days to eliminate the risk of medications entering our rivers and streams.
In recent years, many police departments have implemented permanent steel drug disposal units through MedReturn that have given communities another alternative and safe practice for medication disposal that is year round. In addition to the National Take-Back Day, communities can dispose immediately after there prescription has been complete.
According to, Kaiser Family Foundation 3.9 billion prescriptions were filled in 2013 by pharmacies alone. The misuse and abuse of prescription drugs have been a rising public health concern that has become a National crisis. One out of ten (10%) teens report using prescription medications to get high in the past year, and 6% report using them in the past 30 days to get high (Partnership for a Drug Free America, 2011); in addition more than half of teens obtain medications from family and friends (Office of National Drug Control Policy, 2007).
It is a priority that our communities keep our home safe by securing medications, monitoring all medications, and immediately disposing of unused or unwanted medications immediately. It is also important to have conversations, early and often, with young people about the dangers of prescription medications. Set clear rules, be a good role model, and always monitor, secure and dispose of medications.
Secure: Medications should be locked or kept out of easily accessible places like the medicine cabinet. Abuse is widespread and homes, friends and relatives are a primary source.
Monitor: Use the following INVENTORY to help keep track of your medications in your possession. List the name and strength of the prescription and nonprescription medications. Include the date filled, the expiration date, and the original quantity. Once a week, count the pills remaining and mark the date.