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Press Releases

04/25/2020

State Officials Encourage Families to Secure Medication, Dispose Safely at Home

National Drug Takeback Day events are cancelled, but families can still take steps to stay safe

Saturday, April 25th, 2020 – If not for COVID-19, thousands of Connecticut families would be visiting one of the nearly 100 drug drop boxes at police stations in the state today to mark National Drug Takeback Day, hosted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This year, for the first time, officials are asking families to avoid visiting drug drop boxes, and take steps to secure, and clean out their medicine cabinets at home.

 

Here’s what you can do:

  • Dispose of any unneeded medication at home by running it under hot water, combining it with something undesirable like used coffee grounds or kitty litter, securing it in a container, and disposing of it in the trash. Do not flush medication down the toilet.
  • Secure any of your expired or unneeded medication in a safe place so that it’s ready to go as soon as you’re able to visit a drug drop box again.

 

“It’s important that families take steps to secure their medication – even during times like this,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull, “Families may be securing and disposing of their medication differently, but we’re still encouraging everyone to take steps this weekend to keep their families safe, and to make drug disposal part of their routine in this new reality. Now that we’re spending more time at our homes, it’s more critical than ever to make sure they’re safe.”

 

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Miriam Delphin-Rittmon said, “While Connecticut citizens continue to “Stay home, Stay Safe” it is important to store and secure unused medications in our homes. We can also do our part in preventing medication misuse by identifying unused and expired medications and safely disposing them. Make sure that you run your unwanted medication under hot water, combine it with something undesirable like used kitty litter or old coffee grounds, and then place the mixture in a secure container before throwing it away. Never flush medication down the toilet or sink.”

 

“We have always been proud to be good neighbors in our community, and participate in many Drug Take Back initiatives. The proper disposal of unused medication is central to the protection of our residents. Disposal of the unused medications around the home can prevent misuse by others, while protecting children. Proper disposal will also help protect the environment. Please participate in this unique Drug Take Back by utilizing your time social distancing by making your home safer by properly securing and disposing of unused, unwanted medication,” said Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James C. Rovella.

 

Last year, 59,058 pounds of unneeded medication were disposed of in drug drop boxes, an increase of more than 15,000 pounds from 2018. Drug disposal numbers from past years are:

 

Year

Medication Disposed (lbs.)

2012

3,639

2013

8,149

2014

15,930

2015

23,651

2016

33,803

2017

37,541

2018

43,251

2019

59,058

 

The DEA’s public service announcement about securing medication can be found here.

 

If residents are concerned about their medication supply during the COVID-19 pandemic, they should consult the Department of Consumer Protection Drug Control Division Guidance.

 

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Media Contacts:

 

Department of Consumer Protection
Lora Rae Anderson
lorarae.anderson@ct.gov
(860) 247-8711 (cell)

 

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Jim Siemianowski
james.siemianowski@ct.gov
(860) 305-6810 (cell)

 

Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
Brian Foley
brian.foley@ct.gov
(860) 463-9777 (cell)

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