A campaign to help dispose of unwanted or unused drugs, whether prescribed or illegal, takes more than 65,000 pills off Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) borough streets since its launch in 2018.
Led by ABC Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), ‘RAPID’ (Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs) is an initiative that promotes and facilitates the removal of all types of prescription and illegal drugs from the local community and provides disposal bins in various places across the council area.
Growing in popularity, the campaign recently added Corcrain Community Hub in Portadown and Aghagallon Spar as two new locations to offer the service in the borough – bringing the total of local RAPID Bins up to ten.
The RAPID Bins – which are bright yellow – are also located at The Mall Shopping Centre, Armagh; the Tommy Makem Arts and Community Centre, Keady; Future Proof, Banbridge; Milestone Supermarket, Rathfriland; Tesco Craigavon; Tesco Lurgan; and Portadown Health Centre and Asda Superstore, Portadown.
Welcoming the success and growth of the RAPID Bin campaign locally, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr commented:
“The increase in availability of these bins will continue to help combat the illegal use of drugs and prescription medication within our local communities.”
“Council’s PCSP team continues to work in partnership with the PSNI, Public Health Agency and the local Drug and Alcohol Coordination Team to deliver the campaign’s three aims to remove prescription, illegal and new psychoactive substances. Provide information and support to individuals, families, local businesses and community organisations to raise awareness of the effects and risks of using/misusing illegal and/or prescription drugs. And lastly to bring together community and statutory agencies, local businesses and the public under the RAPID initiative to work towards making their local community a safer place to live.”
Some of the most common drugs disposed of in the RAPID bins are Diazepam, Citalopram, Gabapentin, Quetiapine, Mirtazapine, Pregabalin, Tramadol, Naproxen, Co-Codamol, Amitriptyline, Paroxetine, Kapake, Fluoxetine and Codeine.
ABC PCSP Chair Councillor Jill Macauley commented:
“The RAPID initiative provides a safe way for anyone to dispose of drugs, whether they are prescribed or illegal, and to do so discreetly and anonymously. Most of the drugs disposed so far have been prescription medications. We are concerned that prescription drugs can be sold on and used recreationally, often mixed with other drugs or alcohol, which is very dangerous. Drug misuse, involving both illegal and prescription drugs, is sadly a common issue and has the potential to cause suffering and tragedy to individuals, families, and communities.
“It is fantastic to see community organisations installing the RAPID bins within their facilities to make it easier for the disposal of unwanted or unused drugs, tablets or medicines.”
For more information on RAPID please visit www.drugsandalcoholni.info/rapid or contact Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Policing and Community Safety Partnership on 0300 0300 900.