The Wilton Woman’s Club is sponsoring an Unused Medicine Collection Drive on March 4, as part of the club’s year-long effort, Wilton’s Call to Action: Fight Substance Abuse! The month of March will be a particular focus on the campaign for the Woman’s Club, which will hold its 10th Annual Fundraiser on March 30, to benefit a Wilton Youth Council initiative to educate the community about substance abuse.

The WWC’s annual March luncheon and fashion show is an anticipated community event. Last year, the WWC raised $35,000 at its Best Foot Forward fundraiser, which supported the Wilton Loop of the Norwalk River Valley Trail. With proceeds this year benefitting the Wilton Youth Council, the Woman’s Club supports efforts to educate youth, their parents, and the community about substance abuse and strategies for preventing it.

The number of deaths from prescription medicine was a significant driver of making drug overdoses the leading cause of accidental deaths in the US in 2014, the latest year of data from the CDC. The WWC’s March 4 unused medicine collection is one effort that supports this year’s cause of fighting against such substance abuse, simply by asking residents to bring unused and/or expired medicine to the Wilton Police Department at 240 Danbury Rd., from 12-4 p.m., to drop it in the lobby dropbox.

“If you have unused medicine in your cabinets at home, now is the time to safely and easily dispose of it before it can lead to unintentional harm to someone in your household,” says Diane deWitt, philanthropy co-chair for the Woman’s Club. “Flushing medicine negatively impacts water systems, and discarding medicine in trash could still result in household members or others accessing the medicine.”

Lieutenant Robert Cipolla, the Wilton Police Department’s public information officer, says that unused medications left around homes have become a concern in Wilton–especially as it relates to Wilton’s children. He points to data from Partnership for a Drug Free America showing that 60-percent of teens say prescription drugs are easy to get at home, and 40-percent of teens think prescription drugs are safer than illegal drugs.

There’s a clinical reason why protecting teens and young adults by reducing access to these very addictive drugs is critical, notes Ellen Berezovsky, director of community relations at Silver Hill Hospital.

“Keeping prescription and illicit drugs and alcohol out of the hands of teens is especially important given that the brain does not fully develop until the age of 25.”

Items that are accepted at the medication collection include:

  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Prescription medications
  • Medication samples
  • Medications for household pets
  • Medicated lotions or ointments

Items that are NOT accepted:

  • Needles or other “sharps”
  • Hazardous waste
  • Thermometers
  • Personal care products (e.g. non-medicated shampoo, soap, etc.)
  • Trash
  • Mail
  • Lost and found materials
  • Empty containers
  • Business/professional waste

Guidelines for disposal:

  • Remove all personal information on drug containers
  • Please use plastic bags provided, especially for liquids
  • Do not leave items that will not fit inside the drop box chute
  • Do not pour liquids directly into the drop box

The WPD dropbox is also available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. It is a confidential, free service. To learn more about the Unused Medicine Drive or the Wilton Woman’s Club’s 10th Annual Fundraiser, Wilton’s Call to Action: Fight Substance Abuse!, visit the WWC website.