Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Last year 600 unused prescriptions were collected

BOSTON— June 12, 2013—The fourth annual “Take Back” prescription drug disposal day is Saturday, June 15.  The Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition (CSAC), a program of the MGH Center for Community Health Improvement, the Charlestown Chamber of Commerce and Boston Police are organizing the community’s fourth 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 individuals turned 580 vials of prescription medication and 53 vials of narcotic medications last year, and the unused prescription drugs were disposed in a safe and timely manner.

People who have unused medication can drop them in safe disposal medication bags that have been 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 drop off a bag of unused prescriptions will receive a $5 gift card from a local merchant. Ambiance, Dunkin Donuts, Grasshopper Café, Toni Ann’s, Color for Nails, Hair Cuttery, Unleashed and Olivia Browning have donated gift cards.

Take Back successfully brings together the entire community around one cause-- taking prescription drugs out of our neighborhood,” said Beth Rosenshein, Director of CSAC.

This year’s event is being held in conjunction with Turn It Around, a new social marketing campaign targeting teens and prescription drug abuse. CSAC’s youth group youth have been mounting posters throughout the streets of Charlestown and distributing T-shirts, stickers and buttons to local teens with messages about prescription drug abuse. Plans are underway for the campaign to appear on local subway and bus shelter signage.

 The Turn It Around campaign incorporates these facts and combines the insights from the coalition’s youth group and the community to ensure that the campaign is relevant and authentic. Here’s what the young people said about why teens use or think of using prescription drugs: stress and depression, social pressure, family issues and feelings of wanting to escape. In addition, prescription drugs are easy to find and society tells us that prescription drugs make people feel better.

The brightly colored Turn It Around posters acknowledge the factors that contribute to teen prescription drug abuse. The campaign’s tag line, Turn It Around, is a positive message for youth who want to avoid or stop abuse prescription drugs.

In addition to the posters, T-shirts, buttons and stickers, the Turn It Around campaign  uses social media outlets Facebook and Twitter @turnitaroundctn to create a forum where teens can share their feelings and address their stressors in healthy ways, and receive information about community resources that can help them overcome prescription abuse or addiction. The also is a handout listing resources that will be available in pediatricians offices and the MGH Charlestown HealthCare Center.

Turn It Around was designed by Visual Dialogue of Boston  and CSAC, and was funded through CSAC grants from the Drug-Free Communities Support Program through the Office of National Drug Control Policy and from American Medical Association.

About Charlestown Substance Abuse Coalition (CSAC)

CSAC is a community-based coalition of residents, businesses, organizations, professionals, and advocates who work together to reduce substance abuse in Charlestown. Through a unified, collaborative approach, the coalition utilizes existing community resources, organize programs to identify needs, and harness the energy and commitment of all to provide a safe, healthy environment in Charlestown.

About the Center for Community Health Improvement (CCHI)

CCHI carries out its work in Chelsea, Revere, and Charlestown, where MGH has maintained healthcare centers for more than 40 years, as well as in Boston among youth, homeless persons and seniors. CCHI has partnered with the communities it serves to assess needs and create more than 38 programs that:

  • Reduce and prevent substance abuse 
  • Intervene in the cycle of violence
  • Tackle the obesity epidemic by increasing access to healthy food and physical activity
  • Increase access to care for vulnerable populations such as immigrants and refugees, seniors, and homeless people
  • Prevent cancers through early detection and screening
  • Generate interest in science and health careers among youth


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