CROTON-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Law enforcement agencies said the success of October’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in the Croton area showed that the event is necessary and that more convenient, permanent ways of disposing of the drugs are needed.
“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three Take-Back Day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.
This Saturday, April 28, marks the DEA’s fourth Take-Back Day event, and the second time many local law enforcement agencies will participate.
John Nikitopoulos, detective sergeant of the Croton Police Department, said the department collected over 200 pounds of prescription medication immediately following the October snowstorm, despite highly inhospitable weather. In a recent release, the Ossining Village Police Department said they collected over 17,000 pills and patches, with a collective street value estimated at $75,000.
Americans that participated in the DEA’s third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29, 2011, turned in more than 377,086 pounds (188.5 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,327 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories. When the results of the three prior Take-Back Days are combined, the DEA, and its state, local and tribal law-enforcement and community partners have removed 995,185 pounds (498.5 tons) of medication from circulation in the past 13 months.
“In a community the size of Ossining, that’s a positive indicator that we have committed, concerned residents working toward changing the drug climate in our town. It’s also an indication that we need to keep working on this problem,” said Lt. James Montague in the same press release. Montague organized Ossining police efforts on behalf of Take-Back Day, which will also mark the permanent installation of a MedReturn secure drug collection unit in the lobby of the Ossining Police Department.
Nikitopoulos said the Croton Police are working toward the installation of a similar unit.
“National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is one of the best methods to stop our youth from abusing prescription drugs and making our community a safer and healthier place,” said State Assembly member Sandy Galef (D-Ossining).
In addition to prescription medication, the local sites will also take back over-the-counter medications, pet medications, ointments, patches and sample medication.
On Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Croton and Cortlandt residents can dispose of their unwanted medications in the Croton Commons Shopping Plaza, located between 171 and 187 South Riverside Ave., Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. or the West Point Military Academy, at 1204 Stony Lonesome Road, West Point, N.Y.
Ossining residents can turn in their medication at the Ossining Village Police Department, located at 88 Spring St., Ossining, N.Y. Residents can also use the DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day site locater.