Officials say it’s a way to help curb the heroin and opioid epidemic.
Pikesville, Md (KM). In an effort to curb the state’s heron and opioid epidemic, all State Police Barracks in Maryland now have round-the-clock drop off centers for citizens to dispose of unused prescription medications. Spokesman Greg Shipley says about half of the barracks already had them, including the one in Frederick. “We felt that it was important that each of barracks be locations that people could come and drop off unused prescription medications, 24-hours a day,” he says.
Shipley says Marylanders have a lot of prescription medications, including some painkillers, that they no longer use or no longer need. Despite that, they remain in their medicine cabinets. “We know that young people, and people of all ages actually, are getting access to those medications, selling them on the street, or using them themselves as part of being addicted to opioids,” says Shipley.
He says having these drop boxes is a way to help curb this epidemic. “We want to eliminate that potential threat, eliminate that temptation, and get those unused medications out of people’s medicine cabinets before they end up on ouir streets as part of the opioid crisis,” says Shipley.
State Police remind citizens these drop boxes are for prescription drugs only. “If a parent finds illegal drugs, we would urge them to contact police directly about that, and not to drop that in the drop box because that involves,obviously, a violation of the law,” says Shipley. “These are for legally prescribed prescription medications which are still a threat if they fall into the wrong hands.”
He says the drop boxes are placed in the lobbies of all the State Police Barracks in Maryland in view of the duty officer. Shipley says you can drop off any unused or unwanted prescription drugs 24-hours a day, seven-days a week. No questions will be asked.
“On the last drug take back day, which was April 29th, there was 2,669 pounds of unused medications that were dropped just at Maryland State Police Barracks across the state,” says Shipley. “We want that kind of opportunity to be available to citizens everyday. We believe this will make that possible.”
For those looking for drug abuse treatment programs, they can visit BeforeItsTooLateMD.org, or call the Maryland Crisis Hotline at 1-800-422-0009. The holtine is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
By Kevin McManus