Drug take back day a prescription for success

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The Johnston Police Department’s credo “Working Together, Making a Difference” has never been more fitting than it was during Saturday’s National Drug Take Back Day.

Deputy Chief Joseph P. Razza didn’t mind serving as a one-man public relations bureau when people from different parts of Rhode Island dropped bag after bag of unused or expired prescription drugs into a huge box inside JPD headquarters off Atwood Avenue.

Razza, was more than pleased that there was a steady stream of people who responded to police headquarters Saturday to take part in National Drug Take Back Day, an event the JPD holds twice a year to help people dispose properly of used drugs so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.

“Everyone I spoke to acknowledged the fact that they did not want their unused and expired medications to fall into the wrong hands,” Razza reported. “In addition, most people recognized that what they were doing was environmentally sound and good for the environment.”

Razza also encouraged those that participated in Saturday’s National Drug Take Back Day to come to JPD headquarters at any time to discard their unwanted medications in the MedReturn collection bin, which is a service provided free to the public.

At the conclusion of the program that ran from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Razza reported, “we reclaimed approximately 100 pounds of unwanted drugs.”

Once the program box, which was lined with a thick plastic bag, was sealed Razza personally delivered it to the Drug Disposal Center where the JPD’s 100 pounds and others amounts from all over the state were destroyed.

The unique Take Back program, which the JPD began some years ago under the direction of former Deputy Chief Daniel O. Parrillo, as Razza said Monday morning: “We provide this service in conjunction with the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) so unwanted mediations can be properly disposed of before they fall into the wrong hands or threaten the environment.”

As was the case in recent years, those that participated in Saturday’s National Drug Take Back Day simply cleaned out thir medicine cabinets, placed all their unused or expired drugs into a bag and brought them to JPD headquarters.

They did so, Razza wanted it known, and emptied their bags of unwanted drugs into the huge container without any questions being asked.

“Today was a success,” said Razza. “All too often, unused drugs find their way into the wrong hands and that’s very, very dangerous. That’s why it was great that people from Johnston and Cranston that came here today cleaned out their medicine cabinets and turned in safely and anonymously a record amount of prescription drugs.”

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