Time to empty out the medicine cabinet.
Anyone with unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs will have an opportunity to safely discard pills and other medications during Saturday’s federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
This is the sixth year of the event, which will allow people to leave their drugs with police from more than 80 agencies at designated locations around New Hampshire. Police will then properly dispose of the drugs, which can be dropped off between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“We don’t identify people when they come in and we don’t look to see what they dropped off. We don’t want people to feel uncomfortable when they come here to do this,” Epping police Capt. Jason Newman said.
The drop-off locations vary from one town to the next.
In Epping, drugs can be dropped off at the Epping Police Department while in Claremont, drugs will be accepted at the Claremont Savings Bank.
Other police departments will accept the drugs while manning drop-off boxes at local pharmacies. Raymond police will take them at Hannaford supermarket at 2 Freetown Road, while Plaistow police will have officers available at the Rite-Aid at 31 Garden Road in Plaistow.
“Each time the police department participates in the program, I am surprised at the large quantity collected. It is a great thing that the DEA is doing,” Plaistow Deputy Police Chief Kathleen Jones said.
The Take-Back event is aimed at reducing the incidence of prescription drug abuse. The program is part of the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy’s prescription drug abuse prevention strategy.
The program has become an effective way to get rid of drugs, with 50 percent more pills dropped off nationally than in the previous year when a similar event was held last spring. Some 371 tons of prescription drugs were collected in April from nearly 6,000 locations around the country.
Jones said the program keeps the medications from making it onto the streets illegally or into the hands of younger people because they’re just stored unsecured in a medicine cabinet. “The program has been extremely effective in disposing of these unwanted medications before they end up somewhere they should not be,” she said.
Police do not accept any liquids, Jones said, and they also do not keep pill bottles with personal information on them. In the past, Jones said Rite-Aid has collected and destroyed the bottles.
For more information and to find a drop-off location, visit deadiversion.usdoj.gov.