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Take Back Day takes meds off the streets



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Detective Gary Wood peeks into the drug collection box Saturday afternoon. Gus Steeves. (click for larger version)
May 03, 2011
CHARLTON — Despite his name, Detective Gary Wood wasn't really participating in Earth Day events Saturday, April 30, although he was mostly outdoors.

He spent most of it at a table collecting drugs, in containers ranging from label-stripped pill bottles to large trash bags, as part of Drug Take Back Day.

The second annual event, the first Charlton has participated in, was geared to enable people who didn't know what to do with old medication to dispose of them. Organized nationwide by the Drug Enforcement Agency, it served a dual purpose — the obvious one, from the police and DEA perspective, was to take prescriptions off the streets, but doing that less overtly helps protect the environment.

More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

"Each day, approximately, 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to the Partnership for a Drug Free America," according to DEA's website. "Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet."

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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