BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH)– Leftover prescriptions are part of what is fueling the opioid epidemic. Now, Bristol residents have a new way to get rid of old medicine. Unfortunately, it is very much needed in a city that has been hit very hard by the opioid epidemic.
It is a box in which customers can put expired or leftover drugs. It’s an easy enough concept, but strangely hard to find.
“There are so many people that have come in here asking for how to dispose of their medications,” remembered Gus Campos, the owner of Beacon Pharmacy. “They’ve even come in here with bags of medications.”
Now they can leave those medications right in the drop box by the counter. Until now, employees at Beacon Pharmacy had to tell people to go to the police station to find Bristol’s only other drug drop box. If those medications are left lying around, they can start or fuel dangerous addictions.
“Parents and grandparents are setting themselves up to be the unwilling and unknowing drug dealers of people within their families or visitors to their homes when they leave these types of items out or in their medicine cabinets,” explained Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu (D-Bristol).
Getting a drop box is not easy. The area has to be checked out, the box has to be secured. Bristol Eliminating Substance Abuse Together, or BEST, did the legwork for this one. By giving folks a place to drop off old prescriptions right where they get new ones, BEST hopes to put a dent in the Bristol’s drug problem.
“As of 2019, we were number three for opioid overdoses in the state of Connecticut,” said Jenelle Howard of BEST. “That number still is high for us.”
April 24th is national drug takeback day, and cities and towns across America will be collected unwanted drugs. If you have stuff you want to get rid of before then, contact your local police department. They probably have one of those bins at police headquarters.