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Monday, June 18, 2012
FIVE TIMES MORE MEDICATIONS WERE COLLECTED THAN IN 2011
MORE THAN 600 UNUSED PRESCRIPTIONS TURNED IN DURING CHARLESTOWN SUBSTANCE ABUSE COALITION’S “TAKE BACK” EVENT
--FIVE TIMES MORE MEDICATIONS WERE COLLECTED THAN IN 2011
BOSTON— June 18, 2012—The weekend before this week’s drug arrests and heroin seizure, Charlestown residents safely dispose more than 600 containers of unused prescription drugs during “Take Back” prescription drug disposal day, Saturday, June 9.
The Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition (CSAC), a program of the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement, was joined by the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce and Boston Police in organizing the community’s third annual Prescription Drug “Take Back” event. The awareness campaign and safe disposal day are designed to address the dangers of prescription drug abuse and lack of proper disposal methods. More than 150 people turned in a total of 580 vials of prescription medication and 53 vials of narcotic medications, and the unused prescription drugs were disposed in a safe and timely manner, more than five times the medication collected last year. In 2011, 81 vials of prescription medication and 21 vials of narcotic medications were collected during “Take Back.”
“The Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition’s ‘Take Back’ event was a great success,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico. “The Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition has done an impressive job at bringing the neighborhood together to raise awareness on the dangers of prescription drug abuse and lack of proper disposal methods. I would like to congratulate and thank all those involved for their active work to improve the safety and health of the Charlestown community.”
“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. We generated a lot of community awareness through posters and local ads. Everyone in Charlestown embraced the event this year,” said Diane Grant, business manager of the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce.
“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 most young people who get addicted to drugs start with prescription drugs, including narcotics, 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 harmful drugs for our young people,” she said.
People who had unused medication dropped them in safe disposal medication bags that were distributed throughout the neighborhood. National authorities state that throwing used medications down the toilet or into the trash is not a safe environmental disposal method. Residents who dropped off a bag of unused prescriptions received a $5 gift card from a local merchant. Dunkin Donuts, Ambiance Salon & Spa and Papa Gino’s donated $5 gift cards.
About the Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI)
Achieving healthy communities requires a collaborative approach. The MGH Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI) builds relationships and works with community partners to make measurable, sustainable improvement on some of the toughest health challenges – like cancer, healthy living, and teen substance abuse. As part of the center’s work, CSAC reduce and prevent substance abuse among youth education, prevention, and intervention strategies.
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