Weston Police Chief Steven Shaw said he considers the permanent prescription dropoff box in the station's lobby an important and well-used addition to the town's services.
The green box became a fixture in the Weston Police Station, and many other locations throughout Middlesex County, last May. The Middlesex County District Attorney's Office announced the MedReturn Drug Collection Unit program on May 11 with DA Gerry Leone saying that "Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing problem in our communities."
According to Leone, the bins were intended to not only get unused drugs out of homes -- and hopefully address the "epidemic" of prescription drug abuse -- but also provide an “environmentally sound" option for disposing of the drugs rather than flushing them down the toilet..
In Weston, Shaw said the box has been well-used by residents, as evidenced by the roughly 40 pounds of prescriptions that had been dropped off in the box from its May installation through the September National Drug Take-Back Day when the bin was emptied.
“It works well because the whole once-a-year thing wasn’t enough for people,” Shaw said. "The DA recognized the benefit, and they had these kiosks made up so people could bring it in any time."
Shaw said the amount of discarded drugs in the bin indicated to him they are being used, but so did the reduction in participants during the September Drug Take-Back Day. He said the department typically saw about 20-25 individuals stop by to dispose of expired or no-longer-needed prescriptions on the take-back days. At the most recent one, the first since the bin was installed, only 10 individuals came to dispose of prescriptions.
The bin is located immediately to the right of the front door of the police station. Individuals can dispose of drugs for free and anonymously. The following items are appropriate for the bins:
- Prescription medications - pills, ointments, patches, etc.
- Over-the-counter drugs
- Pet medications
DO NOT deposit:
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Aerosol cans
- Medications from clinics/businesses