Oct 232013

Ptrl. Rachael Mead at a 2012 National Drug Take Back Initiative

Ptrl. Rachael Mead deposits drugs at Groton’s 2012 National Drug Take Back Initiative

Do you have unwanted or expired prescription drugs or pet medications? Here in Groton, both the Groton Police Department and the Nashua River Watershed Association (NRWA) are asking you to dispose of them safely on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, October 26.

The Groton Public Safety Building at 99 Pleasant Street is the town’s designated drop off location. The station will operate from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The dropoff is free and no questions asked. Groton police ask that identifying labels be removed from prescription drug containers.

The police department has taken part in the national effort for several years, shipping dozens of trash bags of cast-off to a special incinerator each year.

But this is the first year the NRWA has been involved.

“Keeping our water free from chemicals is one way to help ensure the health and safety of our water sources. We will be working with communities to encourage the installation of permanent drug drop-off boxes to make it even easier to dispose of drugs year round,” said Martha Morgan, NRWA Water Programs Director. “We want a venue for people to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs, so they don’t put the drugs in the trash or flush them down the toilet where they could eventually end up in our water.”

According to an NRWA press release, research has shown that pharmaceuticals -—i ncluding prescription drugs -— are present in our nation’s water and may cause environmental harm. The National Center for Disease Control advises that although there is no current evidence that these pharmaceuticals in the environment are responsible for any negative health effects in humans, keeping our water clean is an important public health goal.

The Massachusetts Environmental Trust is providing funding for NRWA’s “Pharmaceuticals: Taking Action to Protect the Commonwealth’s Waters” project. For more information, please contact Martha Morgan, NRWA Water Programs Director, at (978) 448-0299, or email MarthaM@NashuaRiverWatershed.org.

To locate a drop off location outside of Groton, visit the national Take-Back Day web site.