BOSTON State and local leaders are asking Massachusetts residents to turn in their old prescription drugs at local police departments and other designated drop-off sites.
National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, on April 26, comes after a stark rise in the number of overdoses this year.
At Monday’s Boston City Hall event, politicians said Massachusetts had 600 drug overdose deaths last year, up from 300 about 12 years ago. The state has declared heroin overdoses and opioid addiction a public health emergency.
The city of Taunton alone has seen more than 100 overdoses since January, including at least seven deaths.
The politicians said prescription drugs in family medicine cabinets are one of the easiest gateways to drug addiction.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the take-back program is one way to reduce access to prescription drugs.U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano called turning in old prescriptions a small but still important step.
“I’m not silly enough to think that this is going to be the panacea, but it is something that we all can do,” he said. “It’s something I can do as an individual.”
With additional reporting by The Associated Press.