In its most successful effort ever, the Windsor Police Department collected 248 pounds of prescription drugs during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 26.
Windsor Police Chief John Michaels said the previous best was 176 pounds six months ago, but the new numbers shattered that record.
The police teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Agency in an effort to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from the Windsor community.
For four hours on April 26, the public had the opportunity to turn in expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to the Windsor Police Department, 200 11th St., in Windsor to be destroyed. The program provides a safe collection site for anyone turning in the medications.
The program also ensures that the medications will be properly destroyed by the DEA, preventing them from entering the water system and landfills, and also removes the threat of them being stolen and used illegally.
“It’s crucial. We don’t want it through our sewer system into the water system,” Michaels said. “We don’t want them just thrown away and going into the landfills or have somebody steal them, misuse them or abuse them. This is a tremendous program that we have.”
Michaels is confident that the program will continue.
“It’s a program that we’ve done for a little over three years now, and it shows what a need there is in our community to have this and to keep it going,” Michaels said. “All indications are we will continue to do it. It’s run through the DEA, and I think they’re firmly committed to it. Our next one will be in October. Six months ago we got 176 pounds and now we got 248 pounds worth of prescriptions that will be disposed of properly. That is quite the accomplishment.”
Michaels said the record increase this time could be from the tough cold and flu winter.
“Maybe there were a lot of scrips written throughout the winter and not all of them were used up,” Michaels said. “When we did this a couple of years ago I think we plateaued at about 120 or 130 (pounds), and then six months later it was down to 110 and all of sudden we went up to 176 and now we’re at 248. I think it’s advertising and getting the word out that we have this program. People now wait for it.”
Michaels said the day designated by the DEA is the only time the WPD can take the medications from people.
“We cannot randomly accept these narcotics,” Michaels said. “They must hold them until the next date, and we’ll advertise heavily when it is.”