Reducing Prescription Drug Abuse

Our coalition works collaboratively with local and county partners to reduce access to prescription medications for the purposes of misuse, to educate the community about prescription drug abuse, and increase local opportunities to properly dispose of medications.  We are currently implementing interventions with the Chittenden Prevention Network and the Chittenden County Opioid Alliance.

Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet
Each day in the US, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time (*from Partnership for a Drug Free America). Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. Please protect yourself, loved ones and our community from drug related crime. Lock up or dispose of unused prescription medication.

We know that kids who learn about the dangers of drugs and alcohol early and often are much less likely to develop addiction than those who do not receive these critical messages at home. Unfortunately, statistics show that conversations between teens and their parents about medicine abuse are not happening nearly enough, and there is a disconnect between the what teens believe to be true and what parents want them to know about medication safety.

Protect the Environment Do not flush medications down the drain to contaminate the water supply. Medications that are flushed or poured down the drain have found their way into our nation’s lakes, rivers and streams. Most water treatment plants or septic tanks have not been designed to remove the chemicals contained in medications. There is limited information available on the potential health effects to humans, animals or aquatic ecosystems if large amounts of these chemicals get into the nation’s water supply.

Follow these 5 simple steps to protect your home and prevent medicine abuse:

  1. TALK with your children about the dangers of medicine misuse. The Medicine Abuse Project  has great information and tips for talking with teens about this important issue.
  2. SECURE all medications in your home.
  3. MONITOR all medications in your home to ensure they are used as directed and only by those to whom they are prescribed.
  4. DISPOSE of your unused medications safely at a local disposal site.
  5. NEVER SHARE your medications.

For FREE ongoing disposal of unused or expired medications, bring medications in pill form to either of the following locations:

◊ Burlington Police Department
1 North Avenue
Monday–Friday from 
7:00am – 4:15pm
Drop in the medication disposal box located in the administrative lobby. No questions asked. Full confidentiality.

◊ Walgreens Pharmacy
514 Farrell Street
During store hours.
Drop in the medication disposal box located next to the pharmacy counter.

The National Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) hosts National take-back events in VT and other states across the nation about every 6 months. For event dates and locations go to

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