Drug take back takes back less

MANCHESTER - Saturday may have been the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)'s Drug Take Back day, but in Manchester the event didn't draw as big of a crowd as previous years, according to Police Chief Michael Hall.

While there was no official count available by presstime on Wednesday, Hall said that it appeared they received approximately one-third the quantity of what they had received in the past.

"I would attribute it to the fact that [the Manchester Police Department] will accept prescription drugs on a regular basis," said Hall.

During normal business hours, Manchester residents can bring any unused, non-liquid prescription drugs to the station for disposal, adding that liquids can usually be brought to pharmacies during their own take-back days because they are properly equipped to handle them, he added.

Despite Manchester's lower turnout, the count for the entire state of Vermont was up from the previous year; 2,393 pounds of drugs were collected on Saturday, compared to 1,853 pounds from last April's collection day, according to Vermont State Police Public Information Officer Stephanie Dasaro.

There were two factors of the importance of this take back day, and to the proper disposal of unused prescriptions at the police station on any other day, Hall said. One was to keep unused narcotics from entering water sources, caused by people flushing their medications down the drain. The other was to prevent intentional abuse or accidental ingestion by children.

"Some narcotics are very subject to abuse," he said. "It's a good idea to not have them just lying around."

While the event was aided by the Vermont State Police as well as the DEA, Hall said that most of the legwork for getting the word out was done by the local group known as The Collective.

"We worked closely with them, because they are very good at spreading the word and informing and educating [the public] about drugs and alcohol," he said.

The Manchester Police Department is located at 6041 Main St., and the dispatch center is open 24 hours a day. The office will accept unused prescription drug drop-offs during regular business hours for those who would prefer to not wait until the next statewide Drug Take Back Day.


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