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Safe disposal of dangerous drugs can help reduce abuse

Erving Chief of Police Christopher Blair with some of the medications collected in that town during an unused prescription drug collection held April 26. 
(Photo courtesy of the Northwestern District Attorney's Office.)

Erving Chief of Police Christopher Blair with some of the medications collected in that town during an unused prescription drug collection held April 26. (Photo courtesy of the Northwestern District Attorney's Office.)

While frequent painkiller abusers may get their pills through pharmacies, or buy them from friends or drug dealers, less frequent users — including those who may become frequent users — still tend to be given them by friends or relatives or find them in a medicine cabinet.

So officials urge people to periodically go through their medicines and weed out disused or out-of-date prescriptions.

The Greenfield, Montague, Athol, Orange, Deerfield, Erving and Sunderland police stations have set up no-questions-asked drop-boxes for unneeded medications, an effort begun by the District Attorney’s Office to keep abusable prescriptions out of the reach of young people and thieves.

The Greenfield drop box collects 35 to 46 pounds of drugs a month for incineration. The effort is also billed as good for the environment — as sewage treatment plants cannot effectively filter the range of chemicals in modern medicine cabinets.

— RECORDER STAFF

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