Clear medicine cabinets of unused, unwanted prescription medications Saturday

State troopers are urging citizens to get rid of prescription drugs that may be lingering in their cabinets.

Maryland State Police barracks across the state, including the Bel Air Barrack at 1401 Belair Road, will be recognizing National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., as part of the state’s efforts to reduce opioid abuse.

The event, in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, is designed to give the public a means of disposing of unused or unwanted medications while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Non-medical prescription drugs are the second-most commonly used drug in the country, behind only marijuana. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs are finding an unlimited supply in their family’s medicine cabinet.

The majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, according to the DEA. About 6 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs, according to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

The Maryland State Police have collected nearly 20,000 pounds of expired and unwanted prescription medications combined through similar events since 2014. In October, state police removed close to 1,895 pounds of prescription medications from circulation during a drug take-back initiative.

But drug-take back events aren’t the only time you can clear your medicine cabinets. All 23 Maryland State Police barracks, including Bel Air, are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No questions will be asked when deposits are made.

There are six locations in Harford County that serve as drop-off points for prescription drugs through the year. In addition to the state police barrack, they include the Harford County Sheriff's Main Office at 45 S. Main St. in Bel Air, the Sheriff's Northern Precinct at 3724 Norrisville Road in Jarrettsville, the Southern Precinct at 1305 Pulaski Highway in Edgewood, the Havre de Grace Police Department at 715 Pennington Ave., and the Aberdeen Police Department at 60 N. Parke St.

The Maryland State Police is a partner in the Opioid Operational Command Center, which “facilitates collaboration between state and local public health, human services, education, and public safety entities to combat the heroin and opioid crisis and its deadly impact on Maryland communities.”

Baltimore Sun Media Group reporter Catalina Righter contributed to this article.

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