More than 1,000 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medication were safely disposed of through a drop box located at the Riverhead Town Police Department, the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth announced Thursday.
In a release, the organization, which aims to prevent substance abuse among children, said the effort was achieved through “collaborative partnerships and the community’s willingness to dispose of their medications properly.” The initiative was promoted by local pharmacies and through radio public service announcements, take-back events and newsletters.
“It is amazing!” Riverhead Town Police Chief David Hegermiller said in a release. “That’s a lot of prescription medication that could have wound up in the wrong hands, the landfill or our water supply.”
Prescription drug abuse is the fast-growing drug problem in the United States, particularly among teenagers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that roughly half of young heroin users reported abusing prescription painkillers before moving on to heroin.
Anyone who wants to safely dispose of prescription medication can do so at the upcoming events: Saturday, April 30, in the lobby of Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead; and Saturday, May 14, at the Riverhead Town Highway Department. Both events will take place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
In addition, Riverhead CAP will host its second annual Meet and Greet for community leaders at the Riverhead Firehouse on Thursday, April 14, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Participants will learn about current trends in local youth substance abuse, what Riverhead CAP is doing to address the issue, and how substance abuse affects the community’s health and safety. RSVP by Thursday, March 24, by contacting Kelly Miloski at 631-727-3722, ext. 106, or firstname.lastname@example.org.