BPD’s drug dropoff box offers convenient, safe disposal

DROP YOUR UNNEEDED DRUGS HERE — Bridgton Police Officer Donald “Mac” McCormick stands beside the new Drug Drop Box that’s been set up in the foyer of Bridgton Dispatch, so the public can have a place to conveniently dispose of unneeded prescription drugs anytime. The box, not unlike letter boxes used by the U.S. Postal Service, is tamper-proof. McCormick wrote a grant to pay for the box, which he says is a step above a scheduled drug collection event and should prevent more drugs from being flushed down the toilet or ending up in the wrong hands. “I’m really excited about it,” he said. (Geraghty Photo)

By Gail Geraghty

Staff Writer

A new prescription drug turn in safe has been installed in the foyer of the Bridgton Police Department’s Dispatch Center, giving residents the convenience of being able to dispose of unneeded prescription drugs anytime on weekdays.

“I’m really excited about it,” said Police Officer Donald “Mac” McCormick, who applied for a received a grant to purchase the safe. McCormick said having this extra option, in addition to scheduled drug turn in programs, will likely increase the amount of unused drugs turned in by the public.

Bridgton Police Chief Kevin Schofield told the Bridgton Board of Selectmen about the safe at their last meeting. “This program affords residents another opportunity to safely dispose of unused medications in an environmentally sound manner by keeping them out of water supplies, sewer and septic systems,” Schofield said in a written statement. “Quick and proper disposal of unused medications also significantly reduces the risk of their improper use and the potential for associated substance abuse related issues.”

McCormick became interested in removing unused prescription drugs from the waste stream even before the federal Drug Enforcement Agency began their annual prescription drug turn in program three years ago, he said. McCormick said he secured agreements years ago from both the Bridgton Health & Residential Care Center on the Portland Road and North Bridgton Family Practice to turn over their unused medications. Since then, he has spearheaded the department’s efforts in the FDA’s annual turn in program.

In terms of the potential for youth abuse for unused medications, McCormick said he’s not so much worried about existing drug abusers who steal from medicine cabinets as he is the young boy or girl who sees the drugs standing forgotten in the cabinet, tries them, and then gets hooked.

Residents may turn in unused medications Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, call Schofield at 647-8814, ext. 201.

 

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