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Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro encourages the public’s participation in National Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, October 28th. Residents are encouraged to dispose of all unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs safely and anonymously at any of the 10 permanent drop-off locations at law enforcement facilities throughout Dutchess County.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Addiction remains our county’s top health crisis, and the abuse of prescription medication is a large part in that crisis. Once addicted to prescription medications, many people move on to less expensive alternatives, such as heroin and fentanyl. Thus, secure disposal sites where residents can drop off their unused or unwanted medications play a key role in stopping the cycle of abuse. Here in Dutchess County, we have 10 disposal sites to safely dispose of medication no longer needed, ensuring they won’t fall into the hands of those who might abuse them. I urge all Dutchess County residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and utilize these sites.”
Since 2010, accidental overdoses have claimed the lives of 413 individuals in Dutchess County. According to Dutchess County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Kia Newman, while illegally manufactured opioids and synthetic opioids are responsible for the rising toll in fatalities, a significant number of deaths are still attributed to prescription medications taken alone or in combination with other substances.
Medications steadily accumulate in the home, where the vast majority are improperly discarded or stored indefinitely. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medications, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away, posing safety and environmental hazards.
Dutchess County continues to coordinate a unified plan to address non-medical use of prescription drugs and other substance abuse. Studies show many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, and one of the biggest sources of access to these drugs is within home medicine cabinets.
Launched in April 2014, the Dutchess County Prescription Medication Drop Box Program proactively addresses drug abuse throughout the county. The permanent medication disposal sites allow residents to anonymously dispose of unused and unwanted prescription medications throughout the year.
The following drop-off locations are accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week:
Additional drop-off locations are accessible during the following days/hours:
In 2016, Dutchess County collected 2,545 pounds of unused/unwanted medications that were destroyed at the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency; an additional 292 pounds of medications were collected at the New York State Police Troop K drop box. To date, more than 1,500 pounds have been collected and destroyed in 2017.
Dutchess County Legislator Kenneth Roman said, “Dutchess County has made strides to address the problem of addiction, and drop-off boxes throughout our communities offer residents safe and convenient locations where they can dispose of medications that could end up in the wrong hands. Thanks to residents who have used these locations, we have safely disposed of thousands of pounds of unwanted medication, ensuring they will not perpetuate the cycle of addiction.”
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is an effort to address vital public safety and health issues and an opportunity to highlight current programs targeting the growing epidemic of drug overdoses. National Prescription Take-Back Day offers collection sites for this event throughout the United States; a list of collection sites can be found by going to www.dea.gov.
Residents who dealing with addiction or whose loved one is struggling with addiction can call or text the Dutchess County HELPLINE 24 hours a day, seven days a week at (845) 485-9700 to speak with a trained mental health professional who can offer support, counseling and direct connections to services.