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On Take Back Day, Vermont Collected 3,349 Pounds Of Prescription Drugs

Prescription Drug Takeback Day
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Over the past four years, more than 4.1 million pounds of prescription pills have been collected nationwide.

September 27 was the ninth semiannual Drug Take Back Day, coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. It’s a day when local police and sheriff departments accept unwanted prescription drugs for proper disposal, and to get them out of reach of people who might abuse them.

Mt. Ascutney Prevention Partnership has tallied some impressive numbers from last month's collection for Windsor County and the state as a whole. The Windsor Police Department alone collected 112 pounds of pills and Springfield Police collected another 100 pounds. Combined efforts in Windsor County brought in a total of 289 pounds of drugs. That's a record for Windsor County at 30 pounds over what was collected during the previous Drug Take Back Day, last April.

Windsor County Sheriff Mike Chamberlin attributes some of the volume to permanent Med-Return Drug Collection Units installed in police departments across Windsor County. Permanent Drop boxes are free to use year-round and can be found at police departments in Springfield, Ludlow, Chester, Woodstock, Windsor, Hartford, and Royalton.

Statewide, 3,349 pounds of drugs were collected last month, according to a press release from the Mt. Ascutney Prevention Partnership. Over the past four years, more than 4.1 million pounds of prescription pills have been collected nationwide. The press release also noted a change in federal regulations will now allow medical facilities such as hospitals and pharmacies to participate in future Drug Take Back Days.

"This new regulation comes as part of an ongoing, national effort to address the epidemic of opiate abuse," the press release states. "Nationwide, fatal overdoses increased by 118 percent [from] 1999 to 2011, mostly driven by powerful prescription drugs. According to the Department of Justice, nearly 40% of teenagers who have misused or abused a prescription drug got hold of it in a home." 

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