Colchester drug collection box a success, police say

By Jason Harris - Staff Writer
Colchester - posted Tue., Nov. 13, 2012
The drug collection box.
The drug collection box.

The Colchester Police Department’s drug collection box has been a success since being put in place in mid-July. With the use of this box, police have collected 91 pounds of prescription and non-prescription drugs, said Resident Trooper Supervisor Sergeant Marc Petruzzi. “I think it’s a useful service that we can provide on a long-term basis,” Petruzzi said.

This collection box is a continuation of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which is held in the spring and fall, according to Petruzzi. The drug drop box program was brought to Petruzzi’s attention by a presentation put on by the Southeast Regional Action Council. It was funded by the Colchester Business Association and the Colchester Lions.

“I thought this was a great opportunity to provide a service for people in the town,” Petruzzi said. The reason for having the collection box is because of prescription medications left around the house which individuals can become addicted to, Petruzzi said. Once addicted, they can move on to more illicit drugs, he said.

Petruzzi said that when people abuse painkillers such as Percocet, Oxycontin and Oxycodone, this abuse almost always leads to a heroin addiction because of the expense. Oxycontin pills usually sell by the milligram, and a 50-milligram pill costs as much as $50, so people who become hooked on them will eventually cross over to heroin, which isn’t expensive at all in this area, he said.

“The abuse of prescription drugs is one of the fastest-growing segments nationally of drug abuse,” Petruzzi said. “It’s a growing trend that the DEA recognizes and we’re trying to address it the best way we can. People don’t view prescription drugs with the same concern as they do heroin or marijuana or cocaine or crack, but they are just as addictive if taken improperly.”

The drug collection box is located at the Colchester Police Department at 127 Norwich Ave.

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