Maine Medical Center is joining in the national Drug Take Back campaign next weekend

The fourth nationwide effort to collect unused and unwanted medications for safe disposal takes place Sat. April 28. Both prescription and over-the-counter medications will be collected across the state with no questions asked and no requests for identification.

Maine has led the country in amount of old medicines collected per capita, a result of efforts here to keep pills from ending up in the wrong hands or getting flushed into the environment. Maine has had the nation’s highest rate of citizens seeking treatment for prescription drug addiction and fatal overdoses now exceed deaths from traffic accidents each year.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency coordinates the collections. Police departments and other groups will set up collection sites in police and fire stations and at pharmacies and supermarkets. To find the collection  sites near you, go to the National Take-Back Initiative website or call your local police department.

Maine Medical Center will have two collection sites – one in Portland and one in Scarborough – on  Friday April 27 and  Sat. April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. People can turn in unused or expired medication at the hospital’s parking lot on 141 Chadwick Street near the hospital’s South Entrance or at the parking lot of its Scarborough Campus, 100 Campus Drive, just off Route 1.