Billerica – On Monday, March 26, 2012, the Billerica Police unveiled its newest initiative in reducing the availability and abuse of diverted prescription drugs. A self-standing “Unwanted Medication Kiosk” will now be permanently located in the public lobby of the Billerica Police Department. The kiosk can be used by citizens to safely dispose of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. The kiosk is designed with a slot on the front that is capable of accepting sealed plastic bags containing pills. No liquids or sharps may be deposited into the kiosk. Residents are asked to remove the pills from the prescription bottles and seal them in a plastic “Ziploc” type bag before arriving at the police station. Plastic bags are available at the kiosk for residents that are unable to take this step in advance.
The purchase and installation of the kiosk was grant funded through a cooperative partnership between the Billerica Board of Health, the Lowell Health Department and the Upper Merrimack Valley Public Health Coalition. The funding was provided by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (BSAS) in an effort to reduce opioid overdoses.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing at alarming rates, especially for teenagers who report that they can easily obtain prescription pills from medicine cabinets in their own and other people’s homes. Common practice has been for residents to dispose of their unwanted medication by throwing it into the trash or toilet. Unfortunately some communities are finding drug residue in surface waters and/or water supplies. With this newest initiative, the Billerica Police Department is taking a proactive step towards providing a safe solution to get rid of expired, unused and unwanted medications, keeping them out of the hands of our youth and our water supply.