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Rochester police, federal officials hosting 5th annual prescription turn-in this month

By John Quinn
Union Leader Correspondent

April 19. 2013 1:30PM

ROCHESTER – Area residents have a chance to clean out their medicine cabinets and rid their homes of extra prescription pills and medicine to help battle abuse nationwide.

Members of Rochester Police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are collecting "potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs" during an event scheduled April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Rochester Police Department at 23 Wakefield St.

Once turned-in, the medicine will be properly disposed by the DEA of as part of the free and anonymous service, according to Capt. Anthony Triano.

"This is our 5th take back event," Triano said in an e-mail. "The last event in April of 2012 we turned in 112.5 pounds of prescriptions."

Since its inception, local police and federal authorities collected more than 1,000 tons of pills from across the nation in the past five years, according to a release.

Triano said surveys show about 20 percent of high school students have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons.

"Many of these drugs are obtained from their own medicine cabinets," Triano said, adding there were 200 drug related deaths in state in 2011 and 82 percent of the incidents were related to prescription drug abuse.

Triano said area residents can turn in their prescriptions - no questions asked - to an officer who will be collecting them from a window office in the lobby of the station. He added the medicine will be place into lined boxes provided by the DEA and will be sealed when full.

The program offers an alternative to traditional means of disposing of medicines – flushing them down the toilet or tossing them in the trash – which could cause safety or health hazards, according to the DEA.

Until federal officials implement regulations provisions of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, area residents can turn in their prescription pills to police, who will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months, according to the release.

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