The City of Groton Police held a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday afternoon for the new prescription drug drop box that now sits in the lobby of the Police Department. Residents can now come by the Police Department any time to drop off their expired medication in a safe and environmentally-conscious manner.
The drop box was purchased by the Groton Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention (GASP) Coalition, a program of Ledge Light Health District, with funding from the Southeast Regional Action Council.
“Throwing medications in the garbage or down the drain are not optimum ways to dispose of drugs. This drop box is and I certainly believe that our citizenry will come in and use this at their convenience,” said Police Chief Bruno Giulini.
GASP Coalition Coordinator Michelle Hamilton said the drop box can help prevent prescription drug abuse among youth. “The GASP Coalition has surveyed youth five times over the last ten years. Those surveys have shown a steady increase in unauthorized prescription drug use,” Hamilton said. “In the 2010 Groton Youth Survey, over 20 percent of 11th and 12th graders admitted to using prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them.”
“It’s very easy for teens to access medication that might be sitting in our medicine cabinets, whether they are our own kids, our nieces or nephews, or our babysitters, they can access things that are really harmful to them,” said Ledge Light Health District Supervisor of Health Education and Community Outreach Jennifer Muggeo
Mayor Marian Galbraith was also present at the ribbon cutting ceremony to show her support.
“We are very pleased to be able to partner with [the GASP Coalition] on this because they do so many wonderful things to protect our students and our youth and that’s very important to us,” Mayor Galbraith said.
Police Chief Giulini and Lieutenant Harry Merrit thanked the GASP Coalition for purchasing the drop box.
“We are a community-oriented police department and this is another service we’ll be happy to provide,” said Lieutenant Merritt.
For more information about the drop box, please contact Michelle Hamilton at 860-448-4882 ext. 305 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The GASP Coalition is funded through the Department of Mental Heath and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and the Southeastern Regional Action Council (SERAC). The coalition is an initiative of Ledge Light Health District, a local health department that serves Groton, Ledyard, East Lyme, New London and Waterford. For more information on the GASP Coalition contact Michelle Hamilton at (860) 448-4882 ext. 305.