DEA believes Maine took in most drugs per capita during take-back day


ROCKLAND, Maine — The federal Drug Enforcement Administration anticipates Maine will tally more medications per capita than any other state involved in the national prescription drug take-back program.

According to DEA numbers made available Thursday, Maine collected 11,920 pounds of drugs on April 30. Maine came in second for most drugs taken back, falling behind Massachusetts which swept in 12,354 pounds of medications.

“When you consider Massachusetts has five times the population, Maine excelled over all the states and I’m confident our total collection will again be No. 1 in the U.S. per capita,” federal DEA agent Michael W. Wardrop wrote in an email to Knox County Sheriff Donna Dennison.

Other New England states didn’t even come close. Connecticut took in 6,787 pounds, New Hampshire had 3,669 pounds, Rhode Island had 1,716 pounds, and Vermont took in 1,404 pounds of drugs.

Wardrop, who is based in Maine, intends to create a breakdown of the amount of prescriptions collected in each Maine town and county, but that analysis likely will not be complete for another month.

Dennison, however, said Knox County raked in 85.2 pounds of prescription drugs on April 30.

“I was amazed at the amount we took in not only from private citizens but also from long term care facilities,” the sheriff wrote in an email to the Bangor Daily News. “These prescriptions will not make it into our environment. Great job by all.”

On April 30, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police, Rockland police, Camden police and Lincolnville police participated in the Federal Drug Enforcement Prescription Take Back. All prescriptions were gathered at the Knox County Sheriff’s Office for pickup by DEA to be destroyed.

Reprinted with permission from the Bangor Daily News.