DALTON -- Want to get rid of your drugs?
A number of police agencies around the county are accepting expired or unwanted prescription drug pills from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today.
While some police departments always accept a drop-off of pills, several will be holding special receptions of medications to properly dispose of them.
The Pittsfield, Adams, North Adams and Great Barrington police departments are among the area agencies that accept prescription drugs 24 hours a day, either through a drop-off box in their lobbies or through their desk officers.
The program is meant to keep unwanted or expired drugs out of the hands of those who could abuse or become sick from them. Prescription pills are also considered hazardous. Throwing them into the garbage or flushing them could potentially contaminate drinking water.
The Dalton Police Department will be accepting prescription drugs at the Dalton Community Center at 400 Main St.
Dalton Police Chief Jeffrey Coe said an officer will be at the center today for security. The drugs will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration to transport them for destruction.
"Many times, family members have somebody in the home who has passed away and they don't know what to do with the drugs," he said.
The Lee Police Department will be participating in the special one-day program in conjunction with the Lee Ambulance Service at the Lee Ambulance garage on 177 Main St.
The West Stockbridge Police Department also will be participating today with a drop-off in their lobby.
Those wishing to drop off prescription drugs with other police agencies should contact the departments directly to ensure they will be accepting them.
Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless was honored recently by waste management company Covanta Energy with the "A Million Thanks" award for helping to oversee the destruction of 1 million pounds of prescription medication in the county. Convanta Energy takes in prescription medication and turns it into energy.
Capeless released a statement acknowledging the award.
"I want to thank Covanta Energy for recognizing the Berkshire County effort in an important program that has helped take unwanted prescription medication off the streets," he said. "This was a truly community-based effort, with great benefits for the community. I hope that Berkshire County will respond to the next roundup."
To reach Nathan Mayberg:
or (413) 496-6243.