(L-R) Paul Keirney, Paul Jackson (both from Cohen's Chemist), PCC Barry Coppinger, Neighbourhoods PC Dan Smythe and Neighbourhoods Inspector Dave Snaith
A new initiative to prevent prescription drugs being sold on and misused launches in Middlesbrough.
Supplying prescription drugs is an offence under the Medicines Act and police are increasingly finding misuse of drugs like Tramadol and Zoplicone is a factor in many violent incidents they attend.
Run by Cleveland Police, Middlesbrough Borough Council and local pharmacies, the scheme allows people to hand unwanted medication to many of the town’s chemists.
Posters advertising the scheme have already been placed in pharmacies and supermarkets and Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has also funded business card size reminders to be placed in every prescription bag to help people remember they should hand back unused or unwanted medication.
And GP surgeries have been asked to include supportive and enforcement information on repeat prescription slips, as well as displaying the posters.
PCC Barry Coppinger said: “I was delighted to provide funding to support this initiative which is the first of its kind to be run by the force.
“By removing these drugs from general circulation, we will be able to further protect our communities, as well as reduce strain on emergency services staff who routinely deal with the fallout from misuse of drugs.”
Neighbourhoods Inspector Dave Snaith added: “This is a good opportunity for anyone in possession of prescription drugs which are no longer needed to get rid of them with no questions asked.
“All too often officers see - and deal with - the adverse effects many prescription drugs can have on someone who’s got hold of them illicitly.”
Cllr Julia Rostron, Middlesbrough Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “We are very happy to be supporting this initiative which provides people with an easy way of disposing safely and ethically of unneeded prescription drugs to prevent them falling into the wrong hands, which as we know have serious unwanted consequences for our communities, public services and public servants.”
Paul Jackson of Cohens Chemist said: “We are happy to be supporting the police with this amnesty and ensuring prescription drugs are disposed of safely.”
Anyone with information about the selling or misuse of prescription drugs is asked to contact Cleveland Police via the 101 number. Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers via its website at www.crimestoppers-uk.org or by phoning them on 0800 555 111.
Posted on Friday 14th September 2018