Area towns, police readying for National Drug Take-Back Day

A nationwide collection on Oct. 26 led to the disposal of more than 92,000 pounds of unused and unwanted medications in New England, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said Monday.

The collection, conducted at over 600 different sites in partnership with law enforcement agencies throughout New England as part of the 18th Fall National Drug Take Back Day during the last Saturday in October. The collection was the first to also accept vaping cartridges.

Westerly, Stonington, Richmond, Hopkinton and Charlestown were all active participants in the event, along with both Rhode Island and Connecticut State Police.

“Thanks to the public 46 tons of unwanted, expired, unused, unwanted prescription drugs, electronic vaping devices and cartridges have now been taken out of harm’s way across New England,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle. “These events are only made possible through the hard work of our law enforcement, coalitions and community partners and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their efforts.”

According to the DEA, Maine led all of New England with 31,180 pounds of medications, while Massachusetts residents returned 30,959 pounds as well. Connecticut residents disposed of 6,958 pounds and Rhode Islanders got rid of 4,778 pounds, according to the DEA.

Local police combined to turn over several hundred pounds of medications from the region, including 179.5 pounds from Westerly, 85.5 pounds from Richmond, 57 pounds from Hopkinton and 249.5 pounds from Stonington.

— Jason Vallee

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