By Julie Huss
---- — Got drugs?
It's time to dispose of old and unwanted ones safely.
Area communities are jumping on the bandwagon to host safe collection efforts for unused, unwanted or expired prescriptions.
On Sept. 29, Derry and Londonderry will be part of a national drug "Take Back" initiative set in place to help people get rid of their unused and expired prescriptions in a safe manner.
Derry law enforcement officials will host the event at Hood Commons from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
People can drop off their old prescriptions, no questions asked. The service is free.
In Londonderry, the drug collection is also held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Londonderry Police Department at 26A Mammoth Road.
The national drug collection began as a way to help people get rid of unused, old and other potentially dangerous drugs safely.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials report rates of prescription drug abuse and accidental poisonings are on the rise, with nonmedical use of prescription drugs ranking second only to marijuana as the most common form of drug abuse in America.
Community Alliance for Teen Safety executive director Sue Centner said the collection process is easy and helps keep drugs out the wrong hand.
"The 'Take Back' events are a wonderful opportunity for citizens to safely discard outdated, unwanted prescription medicine which helps reduce youth access to these dangerous substances and contributes to keeping our communities safer," Centner said.
CATS began in Derry following a string of teen fatalities on local roadways more than a decade ago. Since then, the organization has taken on causes and missions to help keep teens safe and away from dangerous behaviors.
The upcoming drug collection is part of that effort.
"We can all make a difference and help reduce the toll these drugs take on the lives of youth and families by monitoring and safely securing any medicines in the home and by practicing safe disposal methods," she said.
To learn more about the drug collection efforts, visit dea.gov or catsnh.org.