DOVER — More than 100 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at events hosted by both the Garrison City's and the Rochester police departments on Saturday.
A drug take back event intended to collect unfinished prescriptions, both cities' Coalition for Youth programs collectively prevented hundreds upon hundreds of prescription drugs from winding up in the hands of area youths.
Held twice a year, area communities such as Dover and Rochester have teamed up with the Drug Enforcement Administration to hold the take back events to provide residents with a safe alternative for disposing unused prescription medicine.
"One in 15 teens have abused prescription drugs in their lifetime," said Vicki Hebert, coordinator of Dover's Coalition for Youth program.
Hebert noted police reports and parents throughout the Seacoast have reported seeing higher levels of prescription abuse among the younger generations.
"They're not getting them from drug dealers," said Hebert. "They're getting them from their medicine cabinets at home."
Throughout the four-hour block of time set aside for the drug take back event outside of the city's police department, Hebert and an officer filled more than seven over sized cardboard boxes with the day's contributions. Just before the take back concluded, Hebert said she had received well over 100 pounds of unused prescriptions at the Garrison City site.
"Our previous record was 73 pounds, so we're finding that people are finally starting to hear about and take advantage of these events," said Hebert. "We're really pleased with the turnout."
By noon time — halfway through the four hour event — Nicole Dale had collected roughly 60 different prescriptions from residents at the Rochester location.
"We've gotten everything from vitamins to percocet to the different oxys," said Dale, the Youth Prevention Services Coordinator for the Lilac City. "We're finding that people really want to participate in keeping the streets of Rochester clean."
With the number of discarded drugs collected by the halfway point, Dale said it was one of the best year's the coalition has had in terms of turnout.
Dale said she has come across an array of people who are looking to safely rid their homes of unused prescriptions, some of which have even taken the opportunity to rid their parents and grandparents' homes of drugs that will not be used.
According to Hebert, the take back events hosted by Dover and Rochester were not the only opportunities for New Hampshire residents to discard unused prescriptions. She noted that the DEA has teamed up with communities to offer take back events at 89 other locations within the Granite State.