April 29, 2017 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, an opportunity for folks to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of unwanted medications in a safe, environmentally responsible manner. The Federal Drug Enforcement Agency sponsors the program, manning thousands of locations nationwide where people can take back any and all unwanted medications and get rid of them no questions asked. But residents of Fort Fairfield, and those in surrounding communities, don’t have to wait for a special event, held twice a year, to dispose of their medications thanks to the generosity of Rite Aid Corporation’s KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program.
“We have always accepted medications from residents throughout the year rather than twice a year during the Drug Take Back days,” explained Fort Fairfield Police Chief Shawn Newell. “We don’t want these medications falling into the wrong hands – either those of young children attracted by their bright colors and candy-like appearance, or those who abuse prescription medications. Our officers are happy to take possession of them and secure them until they can properly be disposed of, and now thanks to the generosity of Rite Aid, we will have a drop box located in our lobby so folks can drop in anytime and rid themselves of their unwanted medications.”
The KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program is designed to help local communities ensure that families can safely dispose of expired or unwanted medications. KidCents provided a medication disposal unit, free of charge, to the Fort Fairfield Police Department that will allow residents to drop-off unwanted or expired medications in a secure, safe location without having to wait for an officer to be present in the office.
“I was approached by Rite Aid Asset Protection District Manager Wayne Cyrway and asked if the Fort Fairfield Police Department would like to participate?” said Newell. “We gladly accepted this donation and installed the disposal unit in the lobby of the police station. We believe this option to dispose of unwanted medications will provide peace of mind to people looking to get rid of these drugs in a safe way and help keep prescription medications out of the wrong hands and out of the waste stream where chemicals can leach into the environment.”
The new medication disposal unit is located near another valuable community asset, a sharps disposal unit that accepts used needles. That unit was provided by Cary Medical Center and is a safe way to properly dispose of used and unwanted needles that helps ensure the medical waste doesn’t prick another person and is disposed of in a safe way.
“We are always looking for ways to help keep our citizens safe, and these disposal units play an important role in protecting our youth and our environment from medications and medical devices that can be harmful if not disposed of properly,” said Newell.