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Oct 28
City of Boston Taking Back Unwanted Prescription Drugs on Saturday, October 28

Today, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services (ORS), the Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) and the Boston Police Department (BPD) are encouraging Bostonians to play a role in curbing the misuse and theft of prescription drugs by dropping of their expired, unused, and unwanted medications at 11 disposal kiosks located around the city. 

This effort is part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and reinforces the commitment from Mayor Walsh’s Administration to address the opioid epidemic. Boston has drug collection kiosks at 11 BPD stations that are open to all residents as a safe, effective, and sustainable way to dispose of prescription medicines. 

“Expanding access for residents to dispose of prescription drugs in a safe and easy way is essential to our prevention efforts,” said Jen Tracey, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services. “Take Back Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness and educate the community about easy steps that can be taken to dispose of unused or expired medication in our homes because we know that the majority of people who misuse prescription drugs report that they obtained them from family or friends.”

The kiosks are available through a partnership with the DEA, the City of Boston, BPD, BPHC, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. This kiosk service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

"Properly disposing of unwanted or expired medications reduces opportunities for these drugs to end up being consumed by children or misused by adults. Take Back Day provides a safe and convenient method for the public to dispose of these items," said BPD Commissioner William Evans. 

Kiosks are open to all residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and available at any of the following locations:

  • Downtown: 40 New Sudbury St. Boston, MA 02114

  • East Boston: 69 Paris St. East Boston, MA 02128

  • Roxbury: 2400 Washington St. Roxbury, MA 02119 

  • Mattapan: 1165 Blue Hill Ave. Dorchester, MA 02124

  • South Boston: 101 West Broadway South Boston, MA 02127

  • Dorchester: 40 Gibson St. Dorchester, MA 02122 

  • Back Bay: 650 Harrison Ave. Boston, MA 02116 

  • Brighton: 301 Washington St. Brighton, MA 02135 

  • West Roxbury: 1708 Centre St. West Roxbury, MA 02132

  • Jamaica Plain: 3345 Washington St. Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

  • Hyde Park: 1249 Hyde Park Ave. Hyde Park, MA 02136

Expanding drug stewardship is an important element of substance use prevention and a core component of one Mayor Walsh’s legislative priorities. Under An Act relative to substance use disorder diversion and treatment, sponsored by State Representative Liz Malia and supported by BPHC, a program financed by pharmaceutical product manufacturers would collect, secure, transport, and safely dispose of unwanted drugs. Residents would also be able to mail their unused prescription medicines back to the manufactures, welcoming an additional method to dispose of prescription drugs safely and easily. 

In 2015, Mayor Walsh created the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services, which works closely with the Boston Public Health Commission, other City of Boston departments, state and federal agencies, local service providers, and community networks to build and support recovery services throughout the City.

Since then, Boston has more than doubled staff and expanded hours at the City’s access to care program, created the City’s first 24/7 recovery support hotline through 311, and added a street outreach team in heavily impacted areas. Most recently, Mayor Walsh doubled the capacity of the Mobile Sharps Team to pick up improperly discarded hypodermic needles, and began to pilot an engagement center for individuals in need of a space to spend time during the day and get connected to the many housing and recovery services offered by the City and partners.

Last April Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 13 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills. 

For a map of Boston disposal kiosks, visit http://www.bphc.org/whatwedo/Recovery-Services/community-mobilization/Pages/Med-Return-Locations.aspx 

For more information on the types of prescriptions that can be disposed of in prescription drug disposal kiosks, visit http://www.bphc.org/whatwedo/Recovery-Services/community-mobilization/Pages/Drug-Take-Back.aspx

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