Saturday, April 24th was the DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Our community members took action along with our amazing police departments in the Greater Manchester region collecting a grand total of 1,651.3 lbs. of unused, unwanted, or expired, prescription drugs. Makin’ It Happen would like to thank the following eight Greater Manchester police departments for being champions of prescription safety:
- Auburn – 96.6/4 boxes
- Bedford – 135.4/5 boxes
- Candia – 81.2/3 boxes
- Deerfield – 33.6/1 box
- Goffstown – 130.6/4 boxes
- Hooksett – 210.5/8 boxes
- Manchester – 844.2/31 boxes
- New Boston – 119.2/4 boxes
Studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets, clearing out unused medicine is essential. Prescription medications often end up in the wrong hands, fueling an epidemic that kills more Americans than car accidents. The National Rx Take Back events are an important prevention strategy.
Makin’ It Happen would also like to thank our wonderful volunteers and partners! Elliot at River’s Edge Pharmacy, offered their facility as a collection site for this event. The team from Elliot helped promote the event, assisted with set-up and break down, helped provide resource materials for our prevention packets, agreed to on the spot interviews, and key to keeping volunteer spirits up – provided pizza!!
Thank you to the student volunteers from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy & Health Services who were incredibly helpful with their knowledge and passion. These students along with a group of our empowerYOUTH! members teamed up to promote and distribute prevention materials during this drive through event. Many of the empowerYOUTH volunteers are graduating seniors that have been actively involved in promoting the events and volunteering at Take Back Day events for the past four years.
These volunteers put together a pre-event podcast focused on the importance of the Take Back events. They along with our staff put together and handed out over 200 packs of prevention and resource information for the community. Including information about finding support during a mental health crisis, safe storage, use, and disposal of prescription drugs, info about vaping and tobacco cessation, and a list of permanent prescription drop box locations
Additionally, our volunteers in collaboration with Elliot at River’s Edge Pharmacy were able to add awareness labels to over 200 pharmacy bags. These labels were designed by our youth in collaboration with our DEA partners, and are focused on raising awareness about safe use, storage and disposal of prescription medication. This information will allow those picking up prescriptions to access resources regarding prescription safety and drop box locations.
Another big thank you to WMUR and Reporter Mike Cherry for providing coverage of the event and raising awareness of the amazing work that is going on across the state. Check out their report here which includes coverage of Makin’ It Happen.
A special Thank -You to Representative Chris Pappas for visiting Elliot at River’s Edge where he connected with our volunteers and provided an interview to WMUR to raise awareness of the importance of prescription drug safety
Finally a HUGE thank-you! to our DEA partners for making this event possibly. A big shout out to one of our community MVPs DEA Special Agent Jon DeLena whose tireless efforts to connect community stakeholders, collaborate with local police, engage youth, and raise awareness has made National Take Back Day a huge success here in New Hampshire.
If you are concerned you missed Take Back but still have some unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs. Fear not! You are able to drop off unused, unwanted or expired prescriptions at any time throughout the year at one of the many permanent drop box locations, within the Greater Manchester region. Find a location near you by visiting https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1 . Locations in the Greater Manchester region include (please call ahead for hours):