Three new drug removal bins have been located in Ballyclare, Randalstown and Crumlin as part of Antrim and Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership’s (PCSP) RAPID (Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs) initiative. Working collaboratively with the PSNI, the Public Health Agency (PHA), local Drug and Alcohol Coordination Team (DACT) and local businesses and communities the PCSP has expanded the scheme into these three areas.
RAPID was initially piloted in 2010 and due to the success of the joint health and community safety initiative, further bins have been installed throughout Northern Ireland in partnership with key statutory, community and voluntary groups.
Speaking about the initiative, PCSP Chairperson, Councillor Leah Smyth said,
"We are pleased to further expand the RAPID bin scheme with the installation of Bins at Asda, Ballyclare; Spar, New Street Randalstown, and Eurospar, Crumlin.”
"We are all aware of the dangers of illegal drugs and the effects these have in communities, but prescribed drugs can be equally as dangerous in the wrong hands or if taken with other substances.
"By allowing the public to dispose of prescription and illegal drugs in these accessible bins, we hope to substantially reduce the amount of drugs available on our streets."
The PSNI District Commander for Antrim and Newtownabbey, Superintendent Sue Steen commented,
“The introduction of these drugs disposal bins provides an effective way for drugs and harmful substances to be removed from our community.
"Anyone, whether they be parents, grandparents, siblings or family members, can dispose of items which they believe have the potential to cause harm.
"By working together, we are giving a clear indication that we do not want drugs on our streets. This initiative provides a real opportunity to reduce the availability of drugs and criminal activity often associated with drug use."
Drug and Alcohol lead from the Public Health Agency Jayne McConaghie said:
“Alcohol and drug misuse is a common issue and sadly causes suffering and tragedy to individuals, families and communities.
“This is a simple but powerful health intervention and we very much welcome the installation of these RAPID bins in Antrim and Newtownabbey. All of the partners are keen that the RAPID initiative is further developed and expanded over coming years with further bins installed, enabling more people and communities to learn more about the risks and dangers of drug misuse and to dispose of unwanted drugs easily and discreetly.”
For more information on existing RAPID bins and/or how to contact your local Drug and Alcohol Coordination Team (DACT) and/or Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) to express an interest, visit www.drugsandalcoholni.info/RAPID
Unwanted or unused prescription medication can also be returned to any pharmacy within Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough.