Gov. Malloy Announces Dramatic Increase in Unused Prescription Drugs Collected at Drop Boxes During 2016
Governor Says Increase is a Good Sign that Connecticut Residents are Taking Smart Precautions to Remove Unused Medications from Homes
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today announced that the State of Connecticut saw a dramatic increase in the amount of unused prescription medications that residents dropped off at collection boxes during 2016, with the state collecting a total of 33,803 pounds worth of various medications throughout the year. That amounts to a 43 percent increase compared to the amount that residents dropped off in 2015, when 23,651 pounds of unused drugs were collected by the state.
“The increasing amount of unwanted medication that’s being collected at our drop-off boxes is a good sign that people in our state are taking the epidemic of prescription drug abuse seriously,” said Governor Malloy, who this year has introduced a legislative package of initiatives to further the state’s efforts with combating opioid addiction and overdoses. “We all know how common it is to have extra, unneeded prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet, and you may think that they present no harm. However, you never know who could gain access and potentially misuse them. Whenever medications are no longer needed for their intended purpose, it’s best to remove them from your home safely and securely, and these drop boxes are a good way to dispose of them. The misuse of prescription drugs is a nationwide problem impacting people of all ages and backgrounds, and we must do everything we can to tackle it.”
The state’s prescription drug drop box program is administered by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) in cooperation with state and local police departments and provides a convenient location for residents to safely discard unused medications from their homes in an effort to decrease the possibility of prescription drug misuse while also preventing the substances from contaminating water supplies. The drop boxes can be found in the lobbies of every State Police barrack in Connecticut, as well as at a growing number of local police departments. Unwanted medications can be dropped off any time that the departments are open – no questions asked – and they will safely be destroyed.
A list of every prescription drug drop box location in Connecticut can be found online by visiting www.ct.gov/dropbox.
Since the program launched in 2012, the amount of unused prescription medications collected at the boxes has steadily increased each year. In 2012, 3,639 pounds were collected; in 2013, 8,149 pounds were collected; and in 2014, 15,930 pounds were collected.
“I want to thank all the residents who have already participated in the drop box program – you are ensuring that unused meds don’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “I encourage everyone to clean out medicine cabinets periodically – it’s a good way to be involved in the efforts to tamp down addiction and an important step in ending the opioid epidemic.”
“Addiction starts in different ways, and that means we need to fight the opioid epidemic with many different tools, including encouraging safe and regular drug disposal by Connecticut families,” said DCP Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris. “We’ve grown our program to include 75 drop boxes in the state that are accessible to families 24-hours-a-day and guarded securely in many of our State Police barracks and local police departments to protect from diversion. At DCP, we’re pleased to see the significant growth in drug disposal in 2016, but know we all can do more. Police departments who are looking to have a drop box in their community should contact our Drug Control Division, and we’ll be happy to work with them to get it done quickly.”
Local police departments that do not have a drop box and are interested in participating in this program should contact DCP’s Drug Control Division at 860-713-6065 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In December, Governor Malloy announced that Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals donated to the state approximately 80,000 drug deactivation kits that are capable of destroying unused prescription medications at home. The state has distributed the kits to nearly every pharmacy in Connecticut, where consumers can continue to obtain them, free-of-charge, while supplies last.
Families looking for alternative methods for safely disposing of unwanted medications at home can visit DCP’s website for a series of helpful instructions.