By Chief Steven J. Wojnar Dudley Police Department
I wanted to take this opportunity to inform residents that on Saturday, April 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Dudley Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will once again give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. This has been a popular and much requested program in the past. Since these usually take place in the spring and fall, people have inquired about it. I wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the details. The Drug Take Back has been held several times over the years in Dudley. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health need. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that most of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, people are advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards. Thanks to the effort of District Attorney Joseph Early’s Office, we now have a permanent Drug Disposal Kiosk located in our Police Station Lobby. These items can now be disposed of locally at any time during the year. Other communities have these kiosks at their police stations or other town buildings. If you are not from Dudley, be sure to check with your community for one of these disposal locations. In addition to the prescription disposal, we will work with officials from Harrington Hospital to dispose of medical sharps (needles, etc.) on this same day. Collection bins will be on hand to dispose of these items properly and safely as well. A number of these programs will take place on April 30th in communities all over the area. If you are not a Dudley resident, please check with your local officials for a disposal site near you. In Dudley, bring your medications to The Dudley Police Department located inside the Dudley Municipal Complex at 71 West Main Street, Dudley. Please take some time over the next week to check your medicine cabinets for old or unused medications and plan to drop them off for safe disposal. We thank everyone in advance for their participation in this worthwhile program. For those still seeking COVID-19 vaccination or other information, it can be found at www.dudleyma.gov or by calling 508-949-8036. We encourage everyone to continue to be safe. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. These times continue to be challenging and we, at the Dudley Police Department, greatly appreciate the support we receive from our community. Thanks again for your questions and comments. Please send them to me at the Dudley Police Department 71 West Main St. Dudley, Ma. 01571 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this weekly column are those of Chief Wojnar only and unless clearly noted, do not reflect the ideas or opinions of any other organization or citizen.