Helping to Save Lives – Disposing Safely of Unwanted Medications
As in years past, AHM Youth and Family Services, through the CHEC Coalition and the Connecticut State Police once again hosted the annual Take Back Event. This year two sites were set up, one in Marlborough and one at RHAM High School. The Take Back Event was held on Saturday, April 30, 2022, from 10-2 PM.
Between the two collection sites, 215 pounds were collected, (164 pounds at RHAM High School and an additional 51 pounds at the Marlborough Fire Station #2). A total of 74 CT. residents, (45 at RHAM and 29 at Marlborough) participated in the Take-Back event. Of the total number of participants, 8% came from Andover, 37% from Hebron, 38% from Marlborough, 5% from Columbia, and 11% from other neighboring towns.
According to Jennifer Boehler, AHM’s Prevention Coordinator: “each fall and spring, AHM’s CHEC Coalition and the CT. State Police, along with support from RHAM, and Andover, Hebron, Marlborough K-12 schools all help promote this important community gathering. This day is organized nationally by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency.”
In addition to the CT. State Police, Andover, Hebron, and Marlborough Police Department staff were present to assist, and representatives from AHM, students from the UCONN School of Pharmacy, and students from the RHAM High School and AHM group called SOAR were all in attendance to help greet participants.
Since 2011, AHM continues to get ever closer to a total collection of 3000 pounds of unwanted medications that have been safely disposed of through this regional community effort. The most recent collection brings the new total to over 2800 pounds. The CHEC Coalition is made up of many different community sectors from the faith community, parents, school leaders, students, law enforcement, and community partners.
Communities across America are concerned about the rise in over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drug abuse among teens and the contamination of drinking water supplies. Tressa Giordano, AHM’s Executive Director added, “This project specifically helps keep our youth safe and protect our environment. Many teens are getting these drugs from someone they know, a friend, or a relative. This effort helps to decrease the amount of drugs in the region.”
At the Public Safety Complex on Route 66 in Hebron, there is a drug collection box available year-round for Andover, Columbia, Hebron, and Marlborough residents as part of the town’s commitment to working with AHM to help keep our young people safe. For more information about this event, or other regional community AHM programs, please contact Jennifer Boehler, AHM Prevention Coordinator, JenniferB@ahmyouth.org at 860-228-9488.