This year in collaboration with the Revere Shines committee, the Revere CARES Coalition Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug (ATOD) Task Force is organizing a Medicine Take Back Event. Residents will be able to drop off unused medicines on Saturday, April 26 from 9 AM to 1 PM at a marked table in front of the American Legion Building located in 249 Broadway Revere.
Everyone who brings unwanted medicines to the Take Back event will be entered into a raffle for a $50 dollar Target gift card. Residents may dispose of prescription medicines and non-prescription pills such as vitamins. Medicines may be disposed in original bottles or separate plastic bags if preferred. If medicines are being disposed in original containers, remove or cover any personal identifying information. Please keep liquid medicines in original containers to avoid spills.
The purpose of the take back event is to allow residents to dispose of unwanted and expired medicines in a safe, legal, and environmentally-friendly way. Proper medicine disposal reduces the risk of prescription drugs being consumed inappropriately—either by accident or through illegal sale. Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high - over half of teens abusing medicines get them from a family member or friend, including the home medicine cabinet, and often without their knowledge.
According to the National Council on Patient Information and Education one in five teens or 4.5 million young people have abused Rx drugs. The Office of National Drug Control Policy says that the drugs most commonly abused by teens are painkillers; depressants, such as sleeping pills or anti-anxiety drugs; and stimulants, mainly prescribed to treat attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Teens find Rx medication abuse as an acceptable and safer alternative to illicit drug use, second only to marijuana. They believe that because these drugs are legal, they are safer than marijuana, heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine. “In this region we have seen an increase in opioid overdoses, this is related to the fact that young people start experimenting with prescription pills, and once the addiction sets in and they need the drug to feel okay, people will often move on to heroin which is cheaper to get than prescription pills. Many users would never have imagined they would end up injecting a drug; that is the toll of the addiction.” Said Kim Hanton, Director of Addiction Services at North Suffolk Mental Health and member of the ATOD task force.
Revere, Winthrop, Saugus and Chelsea are collaborating through a regional grant from the Department of Public Health to address the increase in opioid misuse and overdoses; the Take Back event is one of the pilot strategies to create awareness about prescription drug misuse and to empower the community to take action.