LOWELL HEALTH DEPARTMENT
March 26, 2012
Contact: Yvette Perron, 978-674-1064, YPerron@lowell.ma.gov
Maria Ruggiero, 978-674-1054, MRuggiero@lowell.ma.gov
Who Has Access To Your Medicine Cabinet?
Lowell Police Department Has an Unwanted Medication Kiosk Assessable 24/7
LOWELL, MASS- Lowell Police and Health Department have joined forces to give the community an accessible and easy method to dispose of unwanted medications.
The kiosk is locked and secured in the Lowell Police Department, 50 Arcand Drive. There is a slot in the front of the kiosk, where the unwanted medication can be placed. Citizens should remove the pills from the bottles and seal the medications into a “ZipLock” (Tm) type plastic sandwich size bag, before arriving at the Lowell Police Department. Containers, liquids and needles are not accepted. There are alternative methods of disposing liquids and sharps. It is suggested that you use tape on the seal to make sure the bag remains closed. The Police Department will not have the required supplies available. Packaging the medications in the lobby will not be allowed. The pills should be ready for immediate disposal into the kiosk upon arrival at the station lobby.
According to Chief Kenneth Lavallee in his press release “Lowell’s Clear and Present Danger” in October 2009, Lavalle states:
“This is a very important initiative that will allow families to decrease the ways youth can obtain prescription drugs. Your own medicine cabinet is often the source for the prescription pills that young people obtain. You can help protect the people you love by disposing of your unwanted prescription drugs properly. Old medications expire and are often forgotten. These drugs remain in medicine cabinets, drawers or on counter tops where anyone, including teens and children, can take and subsequently ingest them”.
It is important that individuals properly dispose of unwanted medications. Flushing or washing medications down the sink contaminates the drinking and water supply. Drug residue has been found in local lakes and rivers.
There has been a significant rise in opioid related death in Massachusetts in the past 10 years. Opioids are pain killers such as Percocet, OxyContin, Fentanyl, Methadone, Vicodin, etc. Every nineteen minutes an individual in the United States dies due to an accidental opioid overdose. In Massachusetts, opioids contribute to two people deaths per day. Many neighboring communities also have unwanted medication kiosks in their local police departments. Substance abuse is an economic, social, and health problem. These kiosks are one of many attempts to decrease rising rates of opioid misuse, abuse, and fatal overdose.
Lavallee, Kenneth. “Lowell’s Clear and Present Danger”. 2. 2009.