Did you know that prescription medication is the new drug of initiation for teenagers these days? That is why the Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition (CSAC), a program of the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement, organized and conducted the community’s second Prescription Drug “Take Back” event last month.

MGH Pharmacy staffers assist in Charlestown "Take Back" event

CSAC event safely disposes unused Rx

08/Jul/2011

Two MGH Pharmacy staff members, pharmacist Karen Ryle and pharmacy technician Mark Sciaraffa, donated their time to help a Boston neighborhood safely dispose its unused prescription drugs recently during “Take Back” prescription drug disposal day.

The awareness campaign and safe disposal day were designed to address the dangers of prescription drug abuse and lack of proper disposal methods. A total of 81 vials of prescription medication and 21 vials of narcotic medications were collected.

“CSAC believes that it is an imperative to raise community awareness about the dangers and availability of prescription drugs,” said CSAC Director Beth Rosenshein. “The Office of National Drug Control Policy says that youth who abuse drugs start with prescription drugs rather than any illegal substance because they are readily accessible in home medicine cabinets. The “Take Back” event provides an opportunity for residents to play an active role in reducing the availability of prescription drugs for our young people.”

Karen explained why this event is so important to individuals. “We had a few people that have been "hanging" on to narcotic medication for many years after a loved one had passed away. They did not know what to do with the medications, and were happy to have a place to bring them,” she said. National authorities state that throwing used medications down the toilet or into the trash is no longer a recommended disposal method.

Mark agreed. “Drug Take Back events are important because it's a safe way for people to properly dispose their medications. We often get numerous questions at the hospital on how and where to discard old medications. I think the Drug Take Back Days are great because they promote patient safety, benefit the environment, and connect the pharmacy community to the local community.”