Provincetown residents will now have a free, safe method to dispose of unused or
expired prescription, over-the-counter or pet medications, thanks to a new drug
collection kiosk installed yesterday in the police station lobby.
NADDI Drug Collection Units were delivered yesterday to police departments in Barnstable County, including Provincetown. The Cape Cod Cooperative Extension, which programs include water quality and hazardous waste purchased the units for the departments through grant monies obtained from a private foundation.
“Illegal use of prescription drugs is the nation’s fastest growing drug problem,” Chief Jaran said. “Part of the problem is that these harmful drugs often sit unused in medicine cabinets, offering easy access for young people to take and abuse them. These new kiosks provide an effective and convenient method for disposal of unwanted medications without harming our environment and keeping powerful drugs off of the streets.”
An estimated 2.4 million Americans misused prescription drugs for the first time within the past year, and about a third of those users were age 12 to 17, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Medication can be disposed of anonymously at any time.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Heath, more than 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain killers got them from relatives or friends. Additionally, the study reports, more and more opiate overdoses are now a result of prescription painkillers.
Every day, on average, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The DEA also reports that 56 percent of teens say prescription drugs are easier to get than illicit drugs. Two in five teens believe that prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs.