PIKESVILLE, MD—The Maryland State Police, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration, are asking Maryland residents to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, set for Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at state police barracks.
State police barracks throughout Maryland will be participating in National Drug Take Back Day. Each barrack will act as a collection station giving citizens an opportunity to dispose of all unwanted and unused prescription drugs. The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Second only to marijuana, non-medical prescription drugs are the most commonly used drug in the country. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the majority of teenagers abusing prescription drugs are finding an unlimited supply in their family’s medicine cabinet.
According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that last year, more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States, marking the largest number of drug-related deaths ever recorded in a year. Opioid-related deaths accounted for 75 percent of all overdose deaths in 2020.
In Maryland, during the first six months of 2021, health officials reported 1,358 confirmed unintentional overdose deaths involving drugs and alcohol compared to 1,351 overdose deaths during the same time period in 2020. Opioids accounted for 1,217, or nearly 90%, of overdose deaths reported through June 2021 compared to 1,204 deadly overdoses in 2020. Of those opioid deaths, 250 were from prescription drugs through June 2021 compared to 216 over the same span in 2020.
As part of Maryland’s combined effort to reduce opioid abuse, Maryland State Police barracks across the state have become around-the-clock drop-off locations for unused prescription medications. All 23 Maryland State Police barracks are now equipped with secure drug collection boxes and available around-the-clock for unused medication drop off. No questions will be asked when deposits are made. Residents can locate the closest Maryland State Police barrack online here.
The Maryland State Police is a partner in the Opioid Operational Command Center, which facilitates collaboration between state and local public health, human services, education, and public safety entities to combat the heroin and opioid crisis and its deadly impact on Maryland communities. Before It’s Too Late is the state’s effort to bring awareness to this epidemic—and to mobilize resources for effective prevention, treatment, and recovery.