Local residents safely disposed more than 420 pounds of their unused, unwanted or expired medications during recent drug take-back events held in Riverhead and Flanders, according to a Riverhead Community Awareness Program (CAP) press release issued Monday.
Organizers said the event aims to reduce and prevent drug and alcohol abuse. In addition, disposing of unwanted medicine can prevent the drugs from being accidentally or intentionally misused. Safely disposing drugs also keeps medication from polluting local waterways.
Peconic Bay Medical Center — in partnership with PBMC Northwell Health, Riverhead Town Police Department, New York National Guard Counterdrug Task Force and Riverhead Youth Coalition — hosted an event Saturday as part of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Take-Back Initiative and collected 307 pounds of medication, the Riverhead CAP release states.
During Riverhead Town’s S.T.O.P. Day (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) held Oct. 15 at the town highway department, event organizers said 91 pounds of medication were retrieved.
A Flanders drug take-back event also held Oct. 15 and organized by the Southampton Town Police Department, Southampton Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad and the Southampton Youth Bureau netted 25 pounds of medication, officials said.
“The safe disposal of unwanted and expired medication is one of the coalition’s critical focal points in its multi-faceted approach to preventing prescription drug addiction and overdose, in addition to heroin abuse,” Riverhead CAP community prevention specialist Kelly Miloski said in a press release. “We will continue to work with our local police departments and our other partners to raise awareness about our community’s medication drop box and the importance of safely disposing of your medication.”
For those who couldn’t attend the drug take-back events, there’s a permanent medication drop box in the lobby of the Riverhead Town Police Department that’s open 24-hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information, visit riverheadcap.org.
Courtesy photos: (Top) – The Drug Enforcement Administration picked up more than than 300 pounds of medication at Peconic Bay Medical Center. (Left) Coalition members at the drug take-back event at Peconic Bay Medical Center. (Right) Coalition members at the drug take-back event in Flanders. (Credit: Riverhead CAP)