SALISBURY — All too often, unwanted or forgotten prescription medication can get into the wrong hands, be it a small child or someone looking to get high.
In an effort to reduce overdoses and lower the town’s crime rate, the Salisbury Police Department is urging residents to bring unnecessary prescription drugs to the Railroad Avenue police station and deposit them in a recently purchased drop-off box.
The green box is located in the department’s lobby and can be accessed 24 hours a day. The town, along with other nearby communities, has hosted periodic drug take-back days. But with the box now inside the police station, residents won’t have to hold onto unwanted medications for a minute longer, officials said.
The box was purchased through the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Edward J. Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant.
Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler said police will accept, with no questions asked, prescription medication, patches and ointments; vitamins, over-the-counter medications, samples and pet medications. The police department cannot accept needles, hydrogen peroxide, inhalers, aerosol cans, ointments, lotions, liquids and medications from businesses or clinics, IV bags and thermometers. Medications brought from nursing homes, clinics, doctors offices or other businesses that distribute medications will not be accepted as well.
“Studies have shown that residential supplies of pharmaceutical-controlled substances — those found in our home medicine cabinets — have become the supply of choice for young people and criminals. Many abusers, a high percentage of which are teens, are known to have obtained their controlled substances from the homes of family and friends,” Fowler said.
Salisbury police now join nearby departments Newburyport, Seabrook and Amesbury in offering prescription drug drop-off boxes. Amesbury Crime Prevention Officer Thomas Hanshaw said his department’s box, which first became available 1 1/2 years ago, is emptied every two weeks or so.