1,782 pounds of old, unused medicines turned in for disposal in Harford

Nearly 1,800 pounds of unused and expired medication was turned in Harford County by more than 500 people during the Nationwide Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday, April 27.

The 1,782 pounds of medicine turned in was properly disposed of and destroyed. This effort will significantly help in addressing the alarming rate of drug overdoses relating to prescription and over-the-counter medicines, county officials said.

Nationally, an estimated 6.2 million Americans over the age of 12 years old reported misusing prescription drugs. Locally in the first six months of 2012, 86 percent of the drug and alcohol overdose deaths of Harford County residents were related to prescription drug overdoses.

Harford County Executive David R. Craig said in a press release he is proud of the citizens who participated in the prescription drug take back events, adding: "The medicines that were turned in will not get in the hands of someone who could abuse them and the drugs will be disposed of properly, without harm to the environment."

The Harford County Department of Community Services Office of Drug Control Policy staff, Sheriff's Office deputies, the Havre de Grace Police Department and Maryland State Police troopers worked hand in hand with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents to coordinate the local event to address the devastation that local prescription drug abuse is having in Harford County. Carl Kotowski, assistant special agent in charge at the DEA Baltimore Office, also participated with the event and said he hopes other jurisdictions mirror Harford County's effort in prescription drug take back initiatives.

Joseph Ryan, manager for the Office of Drug Control Policy, said in the press release he hopes the Prescription Take Back events enhance the level of awareness concerning the dangers of prescription drug abuse, especially among youth.

The next Drug Take Back event will be June 13 from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. on the parking lot behind the A.A. Roberty School Board building, 102 S. Hickory Ave.

For more information about prescription drug abuse, contact the Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy, odcp@harfordcountymd.gov or 410-638-3333.

The Harford County Office of Drug Control Policy is a division within the Department of Community Services. The Harford County Department of Community Services was established in 1979 via Executive Order and works daily to meet the needs of our seniors, youth, persons with disabilities and those struggling to overcome addiction. The department works with federal, state, local and private agencies to ensure the county continues to evolve and remains dedicated to providing the best possible services for our citizens and community.

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