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Published on April 22nd, 2018 | by Burlington Partnership

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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was April 28th!

People around the state brought in three tons of prescription medication on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day (4/28/18).

The 6,008 pounds of unused, unwanted, or expired medication was turned over to local and state police, and county sheriff departments, rather than be available in homes where it could be abused. Studies show that 42 to 71 percent of prescribed opioids go unused. The DEA estimates that about 10 percent of the medication collected on Prescription Drug Take Back Day are opioids.

“As we continue to combat our opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement initiatives, removing unused opioid medications from distribution is incredibly important and a key prevention strategy,” said Governor Phil Scott. “I want to thank Vermonters for their continued help in getting Vermont’s most dangerous leftovers off the street, as well as the Vermont Departments of Health and Public Safety, and local law enforcement for their work to collect and safely dispose of these unused medications.”

Locally, Chittenden County residents turned in 1942.59 pounds of prescription drugs to 11 different collection sites. Our coalition helped promote Take Back Day with posters, a social media campaign, distributing Vermont’s Most Dangerous Leftovers brochures, and by sharing easy-to-use content for local organizations to get the word out about Take Back Day. Thanks to our community’s efforts nearly a ton of unsafe drugs are now in safe hands and out of our homes, rivers & lakes!

Didn’t make it on the 28th? Don’t worry, there are free ongoing disposal options in Burlington at:
Burlington Police Department, 1 North Avenue
Monday – Friday from 8am-4:15pm in the administrative lobby
Walgreens Pharmacy, 514 Farrell St
Disposal box is open during Pharmacy Hours
University of Vermont Medical Center – Main Campus, 111 Colchester Avenue
Disposal box is open during Pharmacy Hours
University of Vermont Medical Center – UHC, 1 South Prospect Street
Disposal box is open during Pharmacy Hours

For more disposal locations in Chittenden County click here.

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 friend.

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.

Supported by the Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community and local law enforcement.


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