ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - APG Army Substance Abuse Program and Directorate of Emergency Services and are co-sponsoring this spring's Drug Take-Back Week April 22-26.

The twice-a-year campaign provides the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs. During the campaign, community members are able to turn in medications for free with no questions asked.

Cindy Scott, ASAP prevention coordinator, said this is a perfect time for members of the APG community to do some spring cleaning. Having expired, unused prescription and OTC drugs around the house or office can be dangerous. The rate of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Scott explained that expired drugs may be less effective and cause some people to overdose by taking more than they should to get the same effect.

This is the sixth time that APG has participated in the national campaign. Last fall, DES and ASAP collected nearly 300 pounds of unwanted drugs during APG's Prescription/Over-the-Counter
Take-Back Campaign between Sept. 24 and Sept. 28.

"People are starting to remember that we host this program twice a year," she said. "I think the event is wonderful; it addresses an important public health issue."

Scott said that medications should be kept in areas that are not easily accessed by others, who might be tempted to abuse them.

"We have found that the majority of teenagers get drugs illegally from home, or grandma's house, or the neighbor's house, where people have them sitting around, not thinking about it," Scott said. "When you talk to young people about drugs, they don't think of prescription drugs as 'real' drugs. They don't really understand the impact."

Drop off locations:

Community members can drop off unwanted, unused or expired medication at the following APG locations:
Monday, April 22 at ATEC, Bldg. 2202 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Tuesday, April 23 at the Mallette Mission Training Facility, Bldg.6008 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Wednesday, April 24 at the APG North recreation center, Bldg. 3326 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Thursday, April 25 at the Post Theater from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Friday, April 26 at the APG South Express Bldg. 4010 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Community members can also drop off medication Monday through Friday at the APG South Police Station, Bldg. E4420; APG North Police Station, Bldg. 2200 or Kirk U.S. Army Health Clinic, Bldg. 2501.

County participation

Harford County will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-back Day April 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Harford County will have three drop-off locations: the County Office parking lot, 220 S. Main Street in Bel Air; the Havre de Grace Police Station, 715 Pennington Avenue in Havre de Grace; and the Maryland State Police Barrack D, 1401 Bel Air Road.

For more information call 410-278- 4013 or email Cynthia.m.scott.civ@mail.mil, or contact Crime Prevention and Community Policing Officer Mike Farlow at 410-278- 3609 or Michael.b.farlow.civ@mail.mil.

The APG event corresponds with the April 27 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration and Drug Abuse Resistance Education. The next APG Prescription/Over-the-Counter Take-Back Campaign will take place in the fall.