WINDSOR COUNTY—On October 23, 2021 Windsor County Sheriff’s Department, in cooperation with local and state police, again participated in the DEA-led National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, resulting in 452 pounds of disposed medications collected throughout Windsor County for incineration.
“Take-Back” efforts began in 2010 as stand-alone disposal events occurring twice a year. Since then, many police departments and pharmacies across Windsor County, the state, and the nation have installed permanent drug collection units, assisting in medication returns year-round.
Windsor County Sherriff Michael Chamberlain has been instrumental in keeping the take back efforts going. Normally, the Sheriff’s Department collects the disposed-of medication and brings it to DEA officials to weigh. The medication is then taken for incineration by the DEA. Sherriff Chamberlain helps in arranging the collection and incineration of medications collected. “We want to encourage everyone to get rid of their medications, get them out of the house. The collection efforts help to keep dangerous medications out of the hands of people who struggle with substance use disorders,” he said.
This year, Captain Claude Weyant oversaw the Department’s Take Back Day efforts. “In general it went well, and we had a huge amount of returned medications – 452 pounds in Windsor County,” Weyant said. “As we advertise the Take Back Day program, and people participate in the program by taking drugs to their police departments, they realize that many of these departments have permanent collection boxes. This brings people back at any time to dispose of any medications they have. The public is becoming more aware that it’s important to dispose of these medications, and that safe disposal is easy.”
Windsor County’s October collection sites yielded the following quantities: Chester PD #40.26; Hartford PD #67.78; Ludlow PD #37.39; Norwich PD #22.5; Royalton PD #48.5; Springfield PD #79.49; Vermont State Police – Royalton #28.24; Weathersfield PD #14.5; Windsor PD #63.24; Woodstock PD #50.15. The total for the state of Vermont was #6825.65.
Law Enforcement officials, Healthcare professionals, and Green Peak Alliance (GPA) encourage adults to lock their medications as they need them or to properly dispose of unused medications safely. For information on proper use, storage, and disposal of prescription medications, visit: www.twinstatesafemeds.org.
In addition, the Vermont Department of Health provides free prescription medication mail back envelopes: Medication in its original container or in a sealed bag is placed inside the preaddressed envelope and mailed off to be destroyed. Mail back envelopes are available at many police departments, libraries, vet offices, and town clerks offices in Windsor County and can also be ordered online at www.healthvermont.gov/alcoholdrugs/services/prescription-drug-disposal.
GPA is a network of regional partners who work with area schools, law enforcement, churches, and other community service organizations to bring best practice prevention approaches to communities. For more information on substance abuse prevention efforts, visit https://greenpeakalliance.org and on Facebook @greenpeakalliance.