Don’t let drugs ruin your community - bin them

Sammy Wilson MP, David McCrea, chairman of Monkstown Community Association, Mayor Thomas Hogg, Anne Judson, Monkstown Community Association and Cllr Pamela Barr at the launch of the RAPID drugs bin initiative. INNT 08-103-GR

Sammy Wilson MP, David McCrea, chairman of Monkstown Community Association, Mayor Thomas Hogg, Anne Judson, Monkstown Community Association and Cllr Pamela Barr at the launch of the RAPID drugs bin initiative. INNT 08-103-GR

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A new initiative has been launched in Monkstown to encourage the safe disposal of prescription and illegal drugs.

A ‘RAPID drugs bin’ has been installed in the Spar store at Jordanstown Road to give local people a safe place to dispose of drugs, unused medication and so-called legal highs.

The Monkstown RAPID (Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs) initiative, launched by Newtownabbey Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), comes just seven months after a similar project was set up in the Rathcoole estate.

Speakers at the launch event included representatives from the Forum for Action on Substance Abuse (FASA), the PSNI, and Newtownabbey PCSP.

Among those in attendance were Sammy Wilson MP, Cllr Pamela Barr and members of Monkstown Community Association.

Diane McMullan from FASA commented: “Alcohol and drug misuse is a common issue in Northern Ireland and can cause suffering and tragedy to individuals, families and communities. The drugs bin provides a safe way for anyone to discard of items by dropping them into the box that is located inside the Monkstown Spar shop.”

Brian Mullan, vice chairman of Newtownabbey PCSP added: “Simply take any unused prescription pills, illegal drugs or legal highs from your home and deposit them in the drugs box. Items can be deposited anonymously by anyone including parents, young people or any person in possession of drugs that have the potential to cause harm. By disposing of the drugs in the bin, they are permanently removed from potential misuse. The harmful consequences of drugs, even prescription drugs, falling into the wrong hands cannot be emphasised enough.”

The community safety initiative is a joint venture between the PCSP, FASA, the PSNI and Monkstown Community Association.

The yellow drugs bin will be emptied regularly by police and substances safely destroyed.

For further information about the work of the Newtownabbey PCSP log on to www.newtownabbey.gov.uk/community/pcsp.asp