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More than 160 pounds of unused meds returned in Riverhead

medication Take Back photo 4-30-16

The Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth took back more than 160 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications at a take-back event Saturday at Peconic Bay Medical Center, the organization has announced.

Saturday’s event, where a total of 163 pounds was collected, set a record for the organization, which has now collected more than 1,500 pounds since it first installed a dropbox at Riverhead Police Department headquarters in August 2014, according to a press release.

“This event could not have been so successful without the collaborative efforts of the Riverhead Police Department, DEA, PBMC Health, and the NY Air National Guard Counterdrug Task Force,” said Kelly Miloski, MPH, Riverhead CAP’s community prevention specialist who coordinated the event.

The organization is not done yet. Another take-back event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 14 at the Riverhead Town Highway Department on Osborn Avenue.

“We will continue working with our community partners to ensure that medication does not end up in the hands of someone who may abuse it,” Ms. Miloski added. “We are grateful to our community members who came out today to dispose of their medication in a safe way.”

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, especially among teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reports that one in five teens say they have taken prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription and each day more than 2,000 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time.

The mission of the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth is to engage collaborative partners in the planning, implementation and evaluation of strategies that prevent youth substance use, the organization said in a press releasr. In 2013, the coalition was awarded a 5-year Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Grant through the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). For more information about the coalition, or to participate, call the Riverhead Community Awareness Program at 727-3722 or visit RiverheadCAP.org.

Caption:  Riverhead Community Coalition members from the Riverhead Police Department, Youth Coalition, Riverhead CAP, DEA Special Agent Brad Cheek, PBMC Health, and Air National Guard Counterdrug Task Force with 163 pounds of medication collected. (Courtesy: Riverhead CAP)