The theft of prescription drugs has become an enormous problem in this country. Older people tend to have more medications in their homes than any other age group. This makes their medicine cabinets of particular interest to anyone using drugs.

A study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America shows that every day another 2,500 American children get high for the first time. Most of these drugs are obtained from friends and family members, often coming from the prescription bottles at the home of their parents, grandparents or other relatives.

Sometimes people get a prescription for a medication and find that they are allergic to it, or that it has other undesirable side effects, and they stop using it and set it aside. Sometimes people have a procedure and are given pain medication, but do not use it and set it aside. Sometimes a person in the household dies and the prescription drugs are set aside. Ultimately, there can be a considerable amount of unwanted prescription medication in the home.

Disposal of prescription and non-prescription drugs has become a problem. We used to put it down the toilet until we learned that so many people were doing it that the groundwater was getting tainted.

In recent years, a nationwide National Prescription Drug Turn In Day provided an opportunity for anyone who wanted to get unwanted and outdated drugs out of their homes and disposed of properly. This event was a huge success in removing potentially dangerous drugs from easy access by anyone who wanted to steal them.

The Maine collection effort by police and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency in conjunction with TRIAD units and other organizations around the state brought in 7,820 pounds of pills. That put Maine in the no. 1 position for the amount of pills collected per person. Even with our small population, Maine came in 11th in the nation for the total weight of pills collected.

Prescription Drug Turn-In Day is Saturday, Sept. 29.

Waldo County turn-in will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at:

Belfast Police Department / Waldo County Sheriff’s Department

6 Public Safety Way, Belfast

Lincolnville Central School

523 Hope Road, Lincolnville

Searsport Police Department

Public Safety Building

3 Union Street, Searsport

For more information, contact Vyvyenne Ritchie at (207) 930-6761.