Several Seacoast police departments are participating in Saturday's DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day with the opportunity to properly dispose of unused prescription drugs.

It's also a chance to keep medications that could improperly be used out of the wrong hands.

According to the Drug Enforcement Agency's 2019 National Survey on drug use and health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives in 2019.

The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

“Too often, substance misuse starts with taking a prescription drug – sometimes ones that have been prescribed, and sometimes from old, unused pills left in medicine cabinets,” Senator Maggie Hassan said. “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is one important effort to help prevent the misuse of prescription medication, and in turn, substance misuse.”

Although the focus is collecting drugs on Saturday they are accepted anytime by some departments including Hampton and Portsmouth.

"We keep that box for the benefit of the community for them to be able to drop their stuff off and it's not hanging out in their house with the chance for it to be abused," Hampton Deputy Police Chief Alex Reno told Seacoast Current.

He recalled having to get rid of prescription drugs following the death of a family member in a community without a drop box. He called the local police to come and get it but had to endure questions about them.

"We have a green metal secure box where you can walk in at any point, walk in the lobby, go over to it, no questions asked just put your prescription drugs inside the box," Hampton Deputy Police Chief Alex Reno told Seacoast Current.

Reno said that the drugs are stored in an evidence lab until they can turn them over to the state to be destroyed.

Items Besides Drugs Being Collection

The collection includes vape pens or other e‐cigarette devices with the batteries removed,

Seacoast locations include:

  • Amesbury - Police department
  • Barrington - Police department
  • Danville - Police department
  • Dover - Police department
  • Durham (UNH) - Health services
  • Eliot - Police department
  • Epping - Police department
  • Exeter - Police department
  • Farmington - Police department
  • Fremont - Police department
  • Hampton - Police department (lobby)
  • Kittery - Police department
  • Lee - Police department
  • Merrimac - Police department
  • Newmarket - Police department
  • Newton - Police department
  • North Berwick - Police department
  • North Hampton - Police department
  • Nottingham - Police department
  • Plaistow - Police department
  • Portsmouth - Police department
  • Raymond - Lamprey River Elementary School
  • Rochester - Police department
  • Salisbury - Police department
  • Sanford - Police department
  • Seabrook - Police department
  • Somersworth - Police department
  • South Berwick - Community Center
  • Stratham - Police department
  • York - Yorkshire Commons, Sentry Hill Assisted Living, Deerfield Place, Hannaford Supermarket
  • York County - Sheriff's Office

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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