ROCHESTER — As part of a national effort to remove potential dangers from homes, local and federal officials will be collecting expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs later this month.
Residents will have at least two opportunities to stop by free drug turn-in points, at Rochester Police Department at 23 Wakefield St. or the Dover Police Department at 46 Locust St., April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The service is free, anonymous and no questions will be asked,” according to a release from police.
This is the seventh time Dover police will be hosting the turn-in, which has previously resulted in the collection and disposal of more than 1,000 pounds of prescription drugs in the area.
Rochester police have held seven events — which collect pills, patches and medicine for both people and pets — in the past three years.
Neither needles nor sharps will be accepted at the collection points.
The collections — which are organized by members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) — have helped prevent pill abuse and theft, according to police.
According to a release from Dover Coalition for Youth Coordinator Vicki Herbert, “70 percent of teens who abuse prescription drugs obtained the medicine from family or friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
“Over half of teens report that prescription drugs are easy or very easy to get.”
In addition to the potential danger of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, the DEA advises against flushing unused medicine or throwing pills in the trash.
Last fall, officials collected more than 324 tons of prescription drugs at more than 4,114 sites across the nation. Since it began, the program has helped dispose of more than 1,700 tons (3.4 million pounds) of drugs, according to the release.
The DEA is in the process of implementing new policies to allow patients, pet owners or their families to dispose of medicine to the proper authorities or enable long-term health care facilities to dispose of controlled substances in certain instances.