Published on October 10th, 2016 | by Burlington Partnership


National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month is Here!


Everyday, 120 people die as a result of drug overdoses. 6% of Burlington High School 12th graders reported that they had misused a stimulant or prescription pain reliever in the past 30 days (from 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey). It is time for us to do more to raise awareness of the dangers of misusing over-the-counter or prescription medications!

Join us on October 22nd, 2016 for National Prescription Drug Take-back Day! Head to the Burlington Police department or Walgreens Pharmacy in Burlington from 10am-2pm for free, anonymous prescription drug disposal.

Why should you properly dispose of or lock up unused or expired medications?

Show you care. Don’t share. – Prescription drugs are often strong medications, which is why they require a prescription in the first place. When they are abused, they can be just as dangerous as drugs that are made illegally. Doctors consider the potential benefits and risks to each patient before prescribing medications and take into account a lot of different factors- personal information, form and use of the drug and the side effects. Proper disposal of medication is important in protecting our children, community and the environment from prescription drug misuse.

Children: 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). In 2015, 11% of Vermont teens reported taking a pain reliever or stimulant not prescribed to them. Studies show that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.

Community: Keep unsafe drug in safe hands. The safety of our community is at risk when medications are improperly thrown away or left in medicine cabinets as they can be attractive to drug dealers and addicts.

Environment: Meds flushed or poured down the drain have found their way into our lakes, rivers and streams. Most water treatment plants or septic tanks are not designed to remove these chemicals. Research done by the UVM Legislative Research service in 2011 found measurable levels of pharmaceutical waste in Lake Champlain.

What can you do?

  1. Show you care. DON’T SHARE medication.
  2. DISPOSE of your unused medications safely.
  3. SECURE all medications in your home
  4. MONITOR all medications in your home.
  5. TALK to your kids about the dangers of prescription drugs.

Local efforts to raise awareness of national DEA prescription drug-take back events happen through a collaboration of the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community and local law enforcement.

In our area, Burlington Police Department offers regular ongoing medication disposal Monday – Friday in an anonymous disposal box available in their administrative lobby. Walgreens Pharmacy in Burlington also offers a medication disposal drop box near their pharmacy counter, that is available during store hours.

For a full list of medication disposal locations available on National Drug Take-back Day October 22nd go to  #endmedicineabuse #PreventRxAbuse

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