Another RAPID Drugs Disposal Bin is installed in Ballymena

L to R is Brian Crilly, Support Services Health Trust; Jayne McConaghie, PHA; Natasha McDonagh, Start 360; Andrew Millar, Start 360; Stephen Sheerin, DEA Officer Ballymena and Alderman John Carson.

A NEW bin to safely and anonymously dump prescription and illegal drugs is being installed in Ballymena.

This is the second RAPID (Remove All Prescription and Illegal Drugs) bin to be installed in the borough and is located at the Braid Valley Health Centre.

RAPID is a community-led initiative supported regionally by the PSNI and Public Health Agency, and locally by Drug and Alcohol Coordination Teams and Policing and Community Safety Partnerships.

Speaking about the initiative, Alderman John Carson said: “We’re delighted to be involved in supporting this initiative in Ballymena.

“The RAPID bin provides an invaluable opportunity for anyone to dispose safely and anonymously of any unused or discarded drugs both legal and illegal and we are extremely grateful to the Braid Valley Health Centre in Ballymena for supporting us in delivering this initiative.”

PSNI Inspector Rory Bradley said: “These disposal bins provide an effective way for drugs and harmful substances to be removed from our community.

“This initiative provides a real opportunity to reduce the availability of drugs and criminal activity often associated with drug use and by working together we are giving a clear indication that we do not want drugs on our streets.”

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 a second RAPID bin in Mid and East Antrim.

“All of the partners are keen that this joint initiative is expanded over the coming months with further bins being installed in both Larne and Carrickfergus, 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.”

RAPID has three aims:

Removal of prescription, illegal and new psychoactive substances.

Provision of 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.

Bringing together community and statutory agencies, local businesses and the general public under the RAPID initiative to work towards making their local community a safer place to live.

Kathleen Greco of Start 360 and Northern Drug and Alcohol Coordination Team (NDACT) said: “We are proud to be involved in the RAPID partnership and we welcome the further roll out of the bins in the Mid and East Antrim area. I have no doubt they will be a great success.”

For more information on existing RAPID bins or how to contact your local DACT or PCSP visit www.drugsandalcoholni.info/RAPID

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