Washington, D.C. – Ahead of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this Saturday, October 27th, U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Angus King (I-ME) announced the locations of the Maine collection sites. Windham Police Department on 375 Gray Road is one of the multiple drop-off locations. For a full list of other Maine locatins, visit the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency website at www.maine.gov/dps/mdea/
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. At aon April 28, 2018, federal, state, and local government entities took back a record 949,046 pounds of unused, expired, or unwanted drugs at more than 5,800 locations across the United States. Over the course of the program, nearly 475 tons of prescription drugs have been safely collected across the country, including more than 14 tons of unwanted medications in Maine alone.
“When unused prescription drugs collect in our homes, they can create unintended gateways to addiction, fueling the growing heroin and opioid crisis,” said Senators Collins and King in a joint statement. “We are confident that Mainers will continue to lead efforts to stop the abuse of unused prescription drugs that pose a serious threat to our children, our homes, and our environment.”
Federal regulations allow pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and other authorized collectors to serve as collection points for unused prescription medication. In 2014, following a bipartisan effort led by Senators Collins and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), the Department of Justice granted the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA) the ability to participate in prescription drug take-back programs at DoD and VA facilities. This initiative has helped to address the role of prescription drug abuse in many military and veteran suicides.
Today, a sweeping opioids package known as the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act is expected to be signed into law. Senator Collins, a member of the Senate Health Committee, included in the final legislation that will help to ensure that unused prescription drugs do not fall into the wrong hands and to bolster peer support networks for long-term recovery. The bill also includes provisions to expand opioid treatment capabilities, including a permanent authorization for nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to medication-assisted treatment and removing an arbitrary limit to allow residential treatment facilities to expand their efforts to save lives.