Increasing awareness for town prescription take-back program. On Saturday, April 30th, 2016 the Wayland Police Department participated in the “Prescription Drug Take Back Day” sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.  A Wayland police officer was on hand to process the drugs that were turned in by the public at the Wayland Public Safety Building.

During the four-hour period, 34 members of the public turned in prescription drugs that were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency for proper disposal. These drugs, combined with drugs collected in the prescription drug drop off box during the past six months, weighed 330 pounds.

In addition, Wayland’s permanent prescription drop box is available 24 hours a day/365 days a year at the Wayland Police Department. It’s easy, anonymous and the safe way to dispose of unused medications. The drop box is to your right, inside the main door. It looks and works similar to a book drop-off bin. Cross off any personal information on the bottle before drop off. The Wayland Police department and our local pharmacies, CVS and Rite-Aid are both extremely supportive of this program.

Massachusetts House lawmakers recently approved a bill aimed at addressing the state’s alarming spike in opioid overdoses and deaths. It will limit initial opiate painkiller prescriptions to a seven-day supply and set an evaluation requirement within 24 hours for overdose victims seeking help at hospital emergency rooms. Based on state data, Massachusetts recorded at least 1,089 opioid-related overdose deaths in 2014, a 63 percent increase over 2012.

Studies also show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including those lifted from home medicine cabinets. In 2014 6.5% of our youth reported prescription drug misuse in the Metrowest Health Survey data. This is a way members of our community begin the path to prescription misuse .

“It’s very important for parents to talk with the kids in their lives about the danger of misusing prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and by safeguarding and properly disposing of unused medications,” said WaylandCares Director, Jason Verhoosky.

Wayland High school students commented during a wellness class discussion on the number of pills they were prescribed for sports injuries, teeth extractions or other injuries and what to do with them. The general consensus was that of being prescribed a higher quantity of pills then they needed to manage their pain.  Students continued the conversation to address prescribing practices as well as safe, environmentally friendly and community conscious disposal methods.

Tips to help prevent prescription-drug abuse:

  • Keep medicines in a locked cabinet in the bedroom or linen closet. They should be labeled and in their original containers. If you use medication organizers, keep those secured too.
  • Take an inventory of your medications so you know what you have and dispose of drugs you no longer need.
  • Take your medications to the Police drop-off box on a regular basis.
  • Liquid medication should be absorbed in kitty litter or coffee grounds and disposed in your garbage on the day of trash pickup.
  • Sharps and syringes enclosed properly in a plastic container marked “SHARPS” may be disposed of at the Town Transfer Station.
  • Medications should not be flushed down the toilet, this contaminates the ground and water supply.
  • Never tell children their medicine is like candy, and warn them not to share medicine.
  • Changes in children’s behavior or grades can be a sign of drug misuse. If you discover that your children have loose medication, take it to the pharmacy for identification or look it up on a drug-identification website.

WaylandCares is a community coalition dedicated to reducing youth substance use and abuse in Wayland. We believe it is the collective responsibility of the community to create a safe environment for our young people, and to support healthy youth decision-making. WaylandCares is supported through a Office of National Drug Control Policy DFC(Drug Free Communities Grant) and town funding.