BENNINGTON -- On Saturday, the Bennington Police Department and Bennington County Sheriff's Office collected prescription drugs from residents who cleared out their medicine cabinets.
Deputy Sheriff Richard Schwarz and Lt. Lloyd Dean collected enough drugs to fill a 20-gallon box at CVS, 8 Kocher Drive, in participation with national Drug Take-Back Day. After the day was through, Schwarz drove the box to Rutland for collection, along with six other boxes that the Bennington police have filled since October 2013.
Bennington County brought in the second-largest amount of unused medication in the state from the drug take back in October, with about 370 pounds of drugs.
"Prescription medication use is certainly on the rise," Dean said. "We have seen that in what feeds the opiate addictions that the entire country has, not just Bennington."
Dean said if drugs go unused and stocked in people's houses, they may fall into the wrong hands. "If there is unused medication, it is a draw for someone to take that and use it. This gives people the ability to get rid of those medications so that it is not a draw for illegal (use or sales)."
People can drop off expired and unused medication at the Bennington Police Department or sheriff's department any day out of the year. A drug drop-off box is available in the lobby of the police department 24 hours a day.
Mount Anthony Union High School technology manufacturing teacher, Bruce Gabrus is working with students to build a larger and more secure drug depository for the police station due to the increase in prescription drugs being cleared from homes.
For more information on drug disposal and year-round locations in Vermont, visit http://www.awarerx.org/get-local/vermont/drug-disposal-information.
Contact Tom Momberg at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg