The group meets monthly and has been surprised by the volume of drugs collected each week.
"We could not have been so successful without the right players and it has really been a team effort - the entire community has been involved and supportive," Fellows-Miller said. "Even the drop box for the drugs was designed by local high school students." A recent national survey shows that more than 70 percent of youth age 12 and older who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives. Safely storing and disposing of expired or unused prescription medications is critical to preventing misuse.
Bennington County Sheriff Chad Schmidt said the key to the success of the problem was a comprehensive approach that worked to educate the community.
Collecting the drugs needed to be viewed as a community program, not a law enforcement initiative.
For a listing of agencies that offer drug disposal throughout the year - dial 2-1-1 or go to www.Vermont211.org.