PROVIDENCE, RI -- As communities across the country struggle with prescription drug abuse and opioid addiction, U.S. Senator Jack Reed is encouraging Rhode Islanders to take advantage of the upcoming National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, October 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2 p.m., and discard all unwanted narcotic pain killers and other prescription drugs at participating local police stations.  This semi-annual event, which was started by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 2010,  helps educate the public about the potential for prescription drug abuse and provides an opportunity for safe disposal of expired, unused, or unwanted medications, including narcotic painkillers and other opioids.

The drop box service is free and anonymous, and a list of participating police departments can be found at:

“This is a public health and public safety program that makes it more convenient for people to do the right thing and safely dispose of unused prescription drugs.  By getting these drugs out of medicine cabinets, it reduces the number of medications being misused or stolen.  And it also helps stop dangerous chemicals and pharmaceuticals from getting into our water supply,” said Reed, a member of the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the DEA.

At the last Prescription Drug Take Back Day held in Rhode Island on April 30, 2016, more than 30 participating collection sites throughout the state collected approximately 3,460 pounds of prescription drugs, according to the DEA.  Nationwide, the DEA and it’s 4,200 state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners collected 893,498 pounds of unwanted medicines—about 447 tons—at almost 5,400 sites in all 50 states, beating its previous high of 390 tons in the spring of 2014 by 57 tons, or more than 114,000 pounds.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, about 70 percent of new abusers of pain relievers obtained their ‎pills from a friend or relative, often times without that person knowing it.

Earlier this month, the DEA also announced it is planning to reduce the amount of almost every Schedule II opiate and opioid medication that may be manufactured in the United States in 2017 by 25 percent or more.  This will help reduce the overconsumption of several addictive prescription painkillers, and prevent a glut of drugs such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, hydromorphone, and morphine from ending up on the street.  The DEA also notes that the reduced quotas are due in part to a decreased demand for opioid medications as more physicians become informed about the dangers of overprescribing pain medication.

Drop off locations on October 22 will include:

  • Barrington Police Department, 100 Federal Road, Barrington, RI 02806
  • Bristol Police Department, 395 Metacom Ave, Bristol, RI 02809 
  • Burrillville Police Department, 1477 Victory Hwy, Burrillville, RI 02830
  • Central Falls Police Department, 160 Illinois Street, Central Falls RI, 02863
  • Cranston Police Department, 5 Garfield Ave, Cranston RI, 02920
  • Cumberland Police Department, 1380 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland RI, 02864
  • East Providence Police Department, 750 Waterman Ave, East Providence RI, 02914 
  • Foster Police Department, 182 Howard Hill Road, Foster RI, 02825 
  • Glocester Police Department, 162 Chopmist Hill Road, Chepachet, RI 02814
  • Hopkinton Police Department, 406 Woodville Road, Hopkinton, RI 02833
  • Jamestown Police Department, 250 Conanicus avenue, jamestown, RI 02835
  • Johnston Senior Center, 1291 Hartford Avenue, Johnston, RI 02919
  • Lincoln Police Department, 100 Old River Road, Lincoln, RI 02865 
  • Little Compton Police Department, 60 Simmons Road, Little Compton, RI 02837
  • Middletown Police Department, 123 Valley Road, Middletown, RI 02842
  • Newport Police Department, 120 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840
  • North Kingstown Police Department, 8166 Post Road, North Kingstown, RI 02852 
  • North Providence Police Department, 1967 Mineral Spring Avenue, North Providence, RI 02911 
  • Pawtucket Police Department, 121 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02861 
  • Portsmouth Police Department, 2270 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871
  • Providence Police Department, 325 Washington Street, Providence, RI 02903
  • Providence Police Department (Walgreens Pharmacy), 533 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI 02903 
  • Scituate Police Department, 116 Main Street,Hope, RI 02831
  • South Kingstown Police Department, 1790 Kingstown Road, Wakefield, RI 02879 
  • Warren Police Department (CVS), 615 Metacom avenue, Warren, RI 02885 
  • Warwick Police Department, 99 Veterans Memorial Dr. Warwick, RI 02886
  • Westerly Police Department, 60 Airport Road, Westerly, RI 02891 
  • West Greenwich Police Department, 280 Victory highway, West Greenwich, RI 02817 
  • West Warwick Police Department, 1162 Main Street, West Warwick, RI 02893
  • West Warwick PD (Thundermist Health Center), 186 Providence St., West Warwick, RI 02893
  • Woonsocket Police Department (CVS), 1054 Cass Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895 
  • Woonsocket Police Department, 242 Clinton Street, Woonsocket, RI 02895