Vermont State Police barracks have begun installing collection boxes for people to drop off unused and unwanted prescription medication.
New collection boxes are already in place at State Police barracks in Derby, New Haven, Royalton, St. Albans, Westminster and Williston. Boxes soon will be added to offices in Middlesex and St. Johnsbury.
Department of Public Safety Commissioner Thomas D. Anderson, Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine, Lamoille County Sheriff Roger Marcoux, federal Drug Enforcement Administration officials and others announced the new initiative at a news conference Monday at the Williston State Police barracks.
Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said a key step to drug-abuse prevention is removing access to unused drugs. “We know that many people who misused prescription pain relievers first got them from a friend’s or relative’s medicine cabinet,” Dr. Levine said. “Vermont’s financial and strategic commitment to take on substance-use disorders includes doing everything we can to help stop addiction from starting.”
Since August 2017, the Lamoille County Sheriff’s Department has administered the prescription drug take-back program statewide, collecting more than 12,000 pounds of medications. The DEA safely destroys the drugs.
The State Police joins 10 sheriffs’ departments and 39 other law-enforcement agencies throughout the state that already collect prescription medication from the public for safe disposal year-round. Other locations include hospitals and pharmacies; the Health Department has introduced mail-back envelopes as well.
Officials said that the semi-annual state and federal Prescription Drug Take Back Day programs also will continue; the next one is Oct. 27.
The Health Department has an online list of drug take-back locations with more details on hours and types of medication accepted at bit.ly/VTrxTakeBack.