Peconic Bay Medical Center has teamed up with a local nonprofit to host a “Medication Take Back Day” on Oct. 30.
Although the organization has worked with the hospital in past take-back days, this is the first time Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth has worked with PBMC to also distribute Narcan training and kits.
The event marks the 30th take-back event since the organization initiated them in 2015.
The nonprofit hopes to continue working with the hospital on future take-back days, according to coalition coordinator Kelly Miloski.
“I hope that we’re just able to get medication out of the community that youth may abuse,” Ms. Miloski said.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), nearly half of young people who inject heroin reported abusing prescription painkillers before starting the drug.
The Riverhead Community Awareness Program (CAP) is the lead coordinating agency for the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug free youth. Riverhead CAP usually hosts approximately five take-back events a year but due to the pandemic they’ve had to cut it down to three.
According to a press release, Riverhead CAP has collected a total of 9,700 pounds of medication via take-back events and a 24/7 permanent dropbox that was installed in the lobby of the Riverhead Police Department in 2014. Ms. Miloski said they expect to reach the 10,000 pound mark at this event.
Peconic Bay Medical Center will be providing free Narcan training and kits to participating community members at the event. The training takes two to three minutes. Narcan is a lifesaving antidote to an opioid overdose that can be administered by anyone.
Deterra Drug Deactivation kits will also be offered at the take-back event, which aims to inform community members about how to properly dispose of their medication.
Riverhead CAP is also teaming up with Riverhead Town for their S.T.O.P. Day (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) to offer community members a chance to dispose of their household chemicals and electronics at the event as well. S.T.O.P. Day is for Riverhead residents only.
“We’re giving people a lot of different ways that they can safely dispose of their medications,” Ms. Miloski said.
Medication Take Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 30 at the Riverhead Highway Yard from 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Peconic Bay Medical Center will be providing the Narcan training and kits from 9 a.m.-noon.
Correction: Riverhead CAP has collected 9,700 pounds of medication. The original figure listed was incorrect.