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Town offers responsible way to get rid of prescriptions

Date: 4/3/2015

AGAWAM – The town of Agawam has taken steps to ensure its residents can properly get rid of unwanted prescriptions, with a medical disposal box placed in the police station at the beginning of March.     

Randall White, health agent for the town, said that these were put in place to give people a convenient and responsible way to dispose of the prescriptions.

“It gives residents a way of cleaning out their medicine cabinets of things that very often gets into the wrong hands,” White said.

White said the medications deposited into the box are incinerated, providing the community with a “two-fold” resolution of clean disposal and preventing non-prescribed people from getting ahold of the substances.

This is not the first program of its type that Agawam has been a part of. Previously, the town participated in Drug Take-Back Days sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration twice a year.

Before there was an accessible way for people to properly dispose of their medications, White said the medications would be flushed down the toilet. Ultimately, these medications started showing up in the water supply, making proper disposal a necessity.

The disposal box has been busy, White said, which is, overall, great for the town.

“It’s just to get this stuff out of the water and out of the wrong hands so it doesn’t end up on the street or abused by children or adults, non-authorized users,” he said.

Though hydrogen peroxide, thermometers, needles, medications from businesses or clinics, inhalers, ointments, lotions or liquids and aerosol cans are not accepted, White has a few tips to help. For instance, liquid medications can be mixed into cat litter, Speedy Dry absorbents or coffee grounds and then disposed of.

 The Medical Disposal Box is located in the lobby of the Agawam police station. The accepted medicines are: prescriptions, prescription patches, medications, ointments, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, samples and medications for pets.