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Connecticut residents take advantage of National Drug Take Back Day

A collection of medications in Willimantic from a Drug Take Back Day in 2017.

HARTFORD — Connecticut residents had another opportunity to discard their old medications during a nationwide Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.

State officials say there are nearly 100 permanent drug drop boxes across Connecticut where families can dump old prescriptions 24 hours a day. On Saturday police departments across the state, in conjunction with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, promoted use of the boxes and staffed them from 10am-2pm, or longer, in order to answer any questions or concerns people might have had.

Several state agency commissioners say Drug Take Back Days, which happen twice a year, is important to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands and prevent new casualties in the opioid crisis.

Commissioner Michelle Seagull of the Department of Consumer Protection said it’s an important reminder to properly dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs and opioids. “It’s really about getting drugs out of people’s homes and out of their medicine cabinets and getting disposed of properly,” she said.

New this year, some locations accepted vape pens and e-cigarettes, with the batteries taken out.

In Southington, police teamed up with the local Rotary Club, the Steps organization, and Walmart.

Doctor Arthur Blumer was on hand and said “There’s a motto here saying, ‘Don’t be a Dealer’. And the thing is, you may inadvertently be a drug dealer because someone comes to your house, could be a grandchild, could be a child, could be a friend of a child and they will sometimes go to your medicine cabinet and find drugs they could use inappropriately. ”

Lt. Stephen Elliott of the Southington Police Department added “A teenager might try it experimentally and then become an addict. Or some people just flush them down the toilet or throw them down the drain, and that’s not environmentally safe.”

Officials also say you can dispose of medications at home by mixing them with hot water and something undesirable, such as cat litter or old coffee grounds, and putting them in a secure container before throwing them in the trash.

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