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Officials encourage residents to get rid of unwanted prescription drugs

Posted by  October 17, 2013 10:00 AM

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The following was submitted by the City of Medford:

The communities of Malden, Medford, Melrose, Reading, Stoneham, and Wakefield have been working together as a coalition on Emergency Preparedness for over 9 years through their boards of health. This coalition, the Mystic Valley Public Health Coalition, applied as a cluster and was awarded the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative grant by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the misuse and abuse of prescription painkillers was responsible for more than 475,000 emergency department visits in 2009, a number that nearly doubled in just five years. Additionally, about one-half of prescription painkiller deaths involve at least one other drug, including benzodiazepines, cocaine, and heroin. Alcohol is also involved in many overdose deaths. 

About two thirds of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, as well as the home medicine cabinet. Safely disposing of expired or unused prescription medications is a critical step in helping protect your community prevent the misuse and abuse of opioids. 

As Mystic Valley Public Health Coalition begins its journey to inform the public of issues related to opioid use and abuse. The most important outcome from this grant will in the form of strategies to change the current culture in the region and be a part of the state and national effort starting with reducing access to prescription drugs.  To help safeguard your family, take an inventory of all of the prescription drugs in your home. Start by discarding expired or unused prescription drugs. The Police Departments in the Mystic Valley Region have taken the initiative to provide 24 hour- 7 day a week a Dropboxes to safely dispose of your prescription drugs. 

Malden Police Department 

Lobby of 200 Pleasant Street 

Medford Police Department 

Lobby of 100 Main Street

Melrose Police Department 

Lobby of 56 West Foster Street

Reading Police Department

Lobby of 15 Union Street

Stoneham Police Department 

Lobby of 47 Central Street

Wakefield Police Department 

Lobby of 1 Union Street 

Additionally, if you live in Medford or Melrose you are encouraged to participate in a drug take back event on Saturday October 26th from 10 am to 2 pm.

In a partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Medford and Melrose Police and Health Departments have been actively encouraging their residents to drop off unwanted and unused prescription drugs  giving the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired medication. This service is free and anonymous; no questions asked.

To drop off medication on October 26th please go to


The rear parking lot at Medford City Hall, 85 George P. Hassett Drive. 


The Melrose Police Station and the Walgreens Pharmacy at 897 Main St. 

Parents are encouraged to speak to their children and take the appropriate preventive steps to ensure that prescription medications do not end up in the wrong hands. 

  • Set clear rules for teens about all drug use, including not sharing medicine.
  • Be a good role model by following medical provider’s advice and dosages. 
  • Safeguard all drugs in the home and monitor quantities and control access. 
  • Be sure to ask your family and friends, particularly grandparents to safeguard their prescription drugs. (

For more information contact: Your local Police Department or email or call Penelope Funaiole at 781-393-2560.

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