Several years ago, Steven Pestillo was at a loss for words when he first heard his daughter talk about a disturbing trend occurring in Connecticut: “Pharm parties.”
These parties, involving a group of teenagers or individuals, were being held throughout the area with admission coming in the form of a bottle of pills. The pills are placed into a bowl and shared by those at the party, with little concern over the dangers of mixing and matching.
Pestillo, chairman of the Southington Board of Police Commissioners, was lucky to have a daughter that was not interested in participating, but other parents in town haven’t been so lucky, he said.
“I don’t care if this is happening once a year or once in a lifetime, that’s still too many,” Pestillo said. “With this, we can encourage parents to take action to help prevent teenagers from this type of behavior.”
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With the introduction of STEPS, community-wide participation in the annual Red Ribbon Rally and partnerships growing throughout town, prescription drug use is a little harder to come by these days. Now a new medication disposal box at the Southington Police Department is giving parents and caregivers one more way to help keep drugs off the streets.
The department, in partnership with Southington Town Council Chairman John Dobbins, the Southington-Town-wide Effort to Promote Success and Covanta Energy officially unveiled the new medication disposal program last week, offering a place for people to unanimously drop off their unused medications.
Dobbins said that all drop-offs would be collected, weighed in the police department’s evidence room and then delivered to Covanta’s plant in Bristol, where the drugs were be properly burned at no cost to the taxpayers or those using the program.
The collection serves two purposes in town, he said, because it takes the drugs off the streets and also prevents them from being flushed into the water system.
“There are regulations coming down the road and by getting people out of the habit of flushing unused drugs, we are already working to save the town money over the long-term,” he said.
So what is allowed with the new program? Take a look at the list of accepted and non-accepted products, provided by the Southington Police Department on its Facebook page:
- Prescription Medications
- Over-the-Counter Meds
- Medication Samples
- Medication for Pets
- Liquid Medication in glass or sealed containers
- Medicated Ointments and Lotions
Items Not Accepted
- Personal Care Products
- IV Bags/Empty Containers
- Bloody/Infectious Waste
- Hydrogen Containers
- Aerosol Cans
Sgt. Jeffrey Dobratz said any prescription powders must also be placed in a separate collection box contained outside the police department.
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