East Hartford, CT -- With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, East Hartford Police and the East Hartford Health Department announce the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 21st Take Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, October 23rd, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m at the East Hartford Public Safety Complex, 31 School Street, East Hartford. At its last Take Back Day in April, DEA collected a high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 420 tons of unwanted drugs. Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 7,262 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency, but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at the East Hartford Public Safety Complex, 31 School Street, East Hartford, which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants. Officials will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs, and will continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges at its drop off locations provided lithium batteries are removed. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted.
Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs is just one way East Hartford Police and East Hartford Health is working to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.