(Photo courtesy MGH Center for Community Health Improvement )
The Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition disposed of more than 600 vials of unused prescription and narcotic medications as part of the organization’s third annual Prescription Drug Take Back event earlier this month.
More than 150 people turned in a total of 580 vials of prescription medication and 53 vials of narcotic medications during the community collection designed to raise awareness of the dangers of prescription drug abuse and help address the lack of proper disposal methods.
“CSAC believes that it is an imperative to raise community awareness about the dangers and availability of prescription drugs,” the coalition’s director Beth Rosenshein said in a statement.
According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, most young people who become addicted to drugs start with prescription drugs because they are readily accessible at home
“The Take Back event provides an opportunity for residents to play an active role in reducing the availability of harmful drugs for our young people,” Rosenshein said.
The Take Back also provides an environmentally safe way to get rid of medications instead of throwing them in trash or flushing them down the toilet, both of which can have an effect on the environment.
This year’s event allowed organizers to collect five times the amount of medication collected last year when 81 vials of prescription medication and 21 vials of narcotic medications were collected.
“The entire community worked together to take prescription drugs out of our neighborhood, including 20 Charlestown youth who assisted with organizing, set up, and coordination of this event,” said Diane Grant, business manager of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce, which worked with CSAC, a MGH Center for Community Health Improvement program, and the Boston Police Department to organize this year’s awareness campaign and disposal day.
“We generated a lot of community awareness through posters and local ads. Everyone in Charlestown embraced the event this year,” Grant said.