VERMONTERS TURN IN MORE THAN THREE TONS OF UNUSED, UNWANTED MEDICATION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY

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 Montpelier, Vt. – This year’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day – held on Saturday, April 27 – yielded more than three tons of unused, unwanted and expired medication for disposal, turned in by Vermonters at nearly 70 collection sites statewide. The 6,562 pounds of collected prescription medication is the highest total out of Vermont’s previous Take Back Days. “Preventing the distribution and misuse of unused prescription medication is essential as we continue to combat Vermont’s opioid epidemic through prevention, treatment, recovery and enforcement initiatives,” said Governor Phil Scott. “Thank you to all the Vermonters who continue to support the health and safety of their communities by participating in Take Back Day, and to the Departments of Health and Public Safety, local law enforcement and our federal partners for their coordinated collection efforts.” Take Back Day is organized in partnership with the Vermont Health Department, Public Safety Department, state and local law enforcement and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to help ensure unused prescription drugs are not misused or taken accidentally and to prevent harm that can occur to waterways and wildlife when medication is flushed or thrown in the trash. “Thanks to Vermonters who participated and all the agencies that helped organize and coordinate this important effort, we had the most successful Take Back Day in state history,” Public Safety Commissioner Thomas D. Anderson said. “Getting rid of these leftover prescription drugs, including opioid painkillers, removes a significant potential danger from household medicine cabinets. Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux deserves special recognition for his ongoing efforts to champion Take Back Day along with year-round initiatives to safely and securely collect and dispose of these drugs.” Studies show 42-71 percent of opioids prescribed to surgical patients go unused, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows that most misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. “We are excited to see that New Englanders are motivated and continue to make their homes safer for our youth,” said Brian D. Boyle, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the New England Field Division. “These efforts help remove unwanted, expired and unused prescription pills that can be abused, stolen, or resold.  These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our law enforcement, coalitions and community partners, and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their efforts.” With this year’s collection, Vermonters have disposed of nearly 45,000 pounds since 2015. Below are the total amounts of medication turned in during Vermont’s seven previous Take Back Days:·         April 2019: 6,562 pounds·         October 2018: 5,828.75 pounds                                     ·         April 2018: 6,008 pounds·         October 2017: 6,007.1 pounds·         April 2017: 5,552.9 pounds·         October 2016: 3,934.4 pounds·         April 2016: 5,094.4 pounds·         September 2015: 5,800.4 pounds All medication is securely transported out of state by the DEA and incinerated. The next National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is October 26, 2019. Vermonters who missed Take Back Day can dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medication through the Health Department’s system of permanent prescription drug disposal sites, such as pharmacies and police stations, where disposal boxes or kiosks are open to the community or can request medication mail-back envelopes. Visit healthvermont.gov/drugtakeback or dial 2-1-1. ### 109 State Street | The Pavilion | Montpelier, VT 05609-0101 | www.vermont.govTELEPHONE: 802.828.3333 | FAX: 802.828.3339 | TDD: 802.828.3345

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