DOVER — On Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Dover Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent prescription drug and opioid abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs, as well as vape pens and e-cigarette devices (with batteries removed). These items can be brought to the Dover Police Department at 46 Chestnut St. for disposal. The service is free, anonymous, and no questions will be asked. Staff will be wearing masks and distancing protocols will be practiced.
Dover, like communities across the state, continues to see the impacts of the opioid crisis and youth vaping rates, according to a city announcement. In 2020, there were twice as many fatal overdoses than the previous calendar year in Dover making events like this as important as ever. Youth vaping is on the rise and a concern as well. The Youth Risk Behavior Survey shows that one third of all Dover High School students have used an electronic vapor product at least once in the past month.
"The Drug Take Back events play a critical role in the Dover Police Department’s prevention strategy because members of the public have a valuable opportunity to safely dispose of the medications and vape devices currently in their homes," said Police Chief William Breault. "This reduces the chances that the medications will fall into the wrong hands. It is equally important for members of the public to safely dispose of these medications throughout the year."
According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), unused medications that are flushed down the toilet contaminate the water supply. Unused prescription drugs simply thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. To avoid that, when throwing medications away, be sure to mix the medication with undesirable items such as coffee grounds or cat litter. There are also several anonymous drop boxes around the region including one in the lobby of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital.
The Dover Police Department has also partnered with RALI NH to provide free drug disposal bags to the public. The bags can be picked up at the event and are also available 24/7 at the police station. The bags are designed to provide individuals with a safe way to dispose of medications at home.
For more information about the take back event and disposal tips visit the DEA website at www.DEA.gov. To learn more about how to get involved, contact the Dover Coalition for Youth at 603-516-3279 or at DoverCoalition.org.