While many residents have participated in the Citys biannual drug take-back days, everyone will now have a disposal option that is available throughout the year, said Mayor Angel Taveras.
Many people are unaware that unused and expired medicines that remain in home medicine cabinets can be susceptible to misuse and abuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, and can be taken from the home medicine cabinet.
Many people also flush medicines down the toilet or throw them away, which both present potential safety and health hazards.
Misused prescription drugs make up the second largest form of illegal drug use nationwide, after marijuana, and we take this very seriously as a public safety and health issue, said Col. Hugh Clements, chief of the Providence Police Department. We want to assure residents that if they drop off prescription drugs, we will accept them with no questions asked.
The following items are acceptable for residents to drop in the MedReturn bin: Prescription patches, prescription medications, prescription ointments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, medication samples and pet medications.
The following items cannot be accepted: Thermometers, hydrogen peroxide, inhalers, aerosol cans, ointments, lotions, liquids, sharps (i.e., needles, lancets, syringes and IVs.) Residents with needles are encouraged to return them to AIDS Care Ocean States needle exchange program, which can be reached at (401) 521-3603.
The MedReturn bin is open only to residents and not to pharmacies or other businesses. Anyone with questions or seeking more information on preventing prescription drug misuse or abuse should contact the Providence Healthy Communities Office at (401) 421-2489.
The purchase of the bin and advertising of the new program is funded in part through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH).