To create a safe and convenient way to dispose unwanted or expired medications, the Wilton Police Department, in collaboration with the Monroe County Safe Community Coalition, has installed a medication drop box in the lobby of the Wilton Community Center.
The box is located at 400 East St. in Wilton and was funded through a Drug-Free Community Grant and a State Targeted-Response Grant.
According to a press release prepared by the Monroe County Safe Community Coalition, “Prescription drug abuse is being reported by law enforcement agencies across the country as one of their greatest threats, especially with some of them being a gateway to other drug usage.”
The release adds, “In addition, unsafe disposal of prescription and over-the-counter medications is costly to the environment.”
Residents can drop off unused or expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications — no questions asked, according to the Monroe County Safe Community Coalition.
“The goals of this program are to keep drugs off the street, prevent overdoses and accidental poisonings, and avoid environmental contamination,” according to the press release.
Items that can be placed in in the drug drop box include non-narcotics, narcotics, over-the-counter medications, herbals, and veterinary medications. Items that should not be placed in the box are needles or sharps, inhalers, biohazard materials, and illegal drugs.
Police officers will check the boxes regularly, collect the contents and prepare for disposal in a manner that is ecofriendly and in accordance with federal and state laws, according to the press release.
The press release states, “This program not only helps to protect the environment, but also it can deter the usage of prescription drugs by unintended parties — including young people facing peer pressure and new ways to ‘get high.’
“We ask that people be very cognizant of the security of their medications. Misuse of prescription drugs is very dangerous and can lead to very tragic circumstances. Our program is geared to keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of the wrong people, particularly our youth.
“It is not acceptable to leave them accessible in the medicine cabinet, nor is it enough to simply ‘hide’ them. You may be very trusting of people that you have in the home every day; however, keep in mind that visiting relatives or babysitters may take advantage of you, leaving your prescription medications unsecured.”
Natalie Carlisle, the coordinator of Drug-Free Communities, said, “Chief Likely, chief of the Wilton Police Department, has worked closely with the Monroe County Safe Community Coalition on this endeavor, and together we are striving to be proactive in enhancing public safety and saving lives. I am very excited to have another drop box in Monroe County. The Wilton Police Department, along with other police departments in the county, has also been active in the national medication take-back days within the last few years.
“The Monroe County Safe Community Coalition continues to work on promoting the message of how dangerous prescription drugs can be. We believe ‘a prescription for safe communities’ in regard to prescription drugs is to store them safely, dispose of them properly and to not share them with anyone.”
For more information or to see locations of the other drop boxes in the county, go to www.mcsafecommunities.org.