- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014

BOSTON (AP) - State officials are highlighting a recent surge in opiate overdoses in Massachusetts in urging people to clean out their medicine cabinets this weekend.

This Saturday marks National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day where people can get rid of unused prescription drugs at local police stations and other designated drop-off sites. Several towns in the state have already agreed to participate.

Officials say pills lying around in family medicine cabinets are one of the easiest gateways to drug addiction, specifically heroin. Over the past few months at least 140 have died from heroin overdoses.

Last month Gov. Deval Patrick declared a statewide public health emergency concerning the rising numbers of heroin overdoses and opioid addiction.

Recent data shows that prescription drug overdose is among the leading causes of death in Massachusetts, exceeding motor vehicle accidents and homicides.

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