police are among several law enforcement agencies participating in the annual National Take Back Initiative on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Residents in the Catonsville and Arbutus area are welcome to drop off presciption medications—no questions asked—at the UMBC police station from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Other locations for drug collection include:
"The issue is that abuse of prescription drugs affects the entire population...teens and seniors, alike," said former Baltimore County drug czar Mike Gimbel. "We have people overdosing more from prescription pills than heroin and cocaine combined."
Officers will be stationed at the precincts between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. The release states that anyone showing up after 2 p.m. will be sent away.
"Residents should drop off medications in the original packaging or remove them and place the drugs into the disposal box," the according to a release. "Liquid medications should be tightly sealed and in the original containers. Remove any identifying information that may be on the prescription label."
The initiative focuses on safely disposing potentially dangerous drugs.
Gimbel said that patients hang on to unused pills for months or even years on end, which adds to the problem.
"It's a real dilemma that we have...that we need to use these drugs in the first place. Then people say 'I'll just keep what I have until I need them again so I don't have to go back to the doctor,'" Gimbel said.
The drug expert went on to explain the rise in thefts both in the home and at local pharmacies. "We have pharmacies robbed of Oxycontin and not even cash," Gimbel explained.
He also noted a tactic in which drug addicts will pose as interested home buyers and attend open houses just to take a peak into someone's medicine cabinet. Senior citizens are often the victims of "handymen" or "workers" who are also known to take advantage of an unlocked medicine drawer, according to Gimbel.