As the national opioid addiction epidemic plagues communities across the country, local city officials including those in Plymouth are addressing the issue head on.
“No community is immune to this problem,” says Mike Goldstein, Plymouth’s director of public safety and police chief. “It’s experienced in every community across the country.”
Goldstein decided to take action by implementing a new program that allows Plymouth residents to safely dispose of unwanted opioid medications with free specially manufactured bags available through the Plymouth Public Safety Department.
The program has been very well-received by the community since it was launched last December. “We have a lot of people taking advantage of it,” he says. “Anyone can just come in and pick up one of two sizes of bag, and put any prescriptions they want in there.”
The program emphasizes safe disposal that is 100 percent environmentally friendly. By placing the medications in a bag, mixing in water and a special dissolvent, and giving it a good shake, the medication is dissolved and essentially stripped of any harmful chemicals that could pollute waterways.
Goldstein hopes the success of the program can help spread awareness and make the residents of Plymouth see that it’s an issue that could be quietly plaguing their own neighborhoods. “If people become addicted, particularly as it relates to painkillers, it creates a host of problems not just with criminal justice, but with society in general,” he says.