Commentary: It’s spring cleaning. What are you saving them for?

Kelly Leppard,
Town of Southington youth prevention coordinator
and STEPS liason
Tel: (860) 276-6281
Email: SouthingtonSTEPS@gmail.com.

Did you know that the number one way people gain access to prescription drugs not prescribed to them is from other people’s homes?

Members of the STEPS Youth Council will be promoting their ‘What are you saving them for’ campaign during the month of April to encourage Southington residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and dispose of expired or no longer needed prescription drugs at the Southington Medication Drop Box.

This campaign is part of STEPS’ bigger mission of making substance abuse prevention a priority in the Southington community through education, reducing access, and changing policy.

Do you know what prescription drugs are currently in your home? Remember a few months ago when you had those prescriptions filled but never used them? I’ll bet you still have them somewhere… or do you? You should probably take a look.

If the prescriptions are no longer needed, what are you saving them for?

During the month of April, make sure your yearly spring cleaning routine includes your medicine cabinets. Encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do the same. Look for our campaign lawn signs, town green signs, advertisements at the gas pumps, pharmacies and more as reminders for your spring cleaning project.

Also, help spread the word and do your part to help reduce access to prescription drugs. By telling even one person, you are helping our community stay safe.

STEPS (Southington’s Town-wide Effort to Promote Success)
200 North Main St., Southington, CT 06489
Tel: (860) 276-6285

The Medication Drop Box is located in the lobby of the Southington Police Department and was installed in 2012 in an effort to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands and to help keep our water system clean. Prior to the installation, we held annual ‘Take Back Days’ at the Southington Water Department. Instead of only having an opportunity to dispose medications once a year, we were fortunate to get a drop box in Southington so residents could dispose medications 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Since the installation, the box has been emptied 272 times and 6,060 pounds of prescription drugs have been disposed. A special ‘thank you’ to the Southington Police Department for maintaining our Medication Drop Box and to our community residents for using it. Let’s work together to continue to increase our numbers.

For more information on the Southington community’s substance abuse prevention coalition, STEPS, the ‘What are you saving them for’ campaign, or the Medication Drop Box, please visit our website at SouthingtonSTEPS.org.

Kelly Leppard is the youth prevention coordinator for the Town of Southington and the STEPS liason. She can be reached at (860) 276-6281or SouthingtonSTEPS@gmail.com.

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