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Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro encourages the public’s participation National Drug Take-back Day, Saturday, October 22nd. 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, “The abuse of prescription medication is a major factor in the public health crisis of addiction our nation faces today. Too often those who abuse prescription medications become addicted and turn to heroin as a cheaper alternative, demonstrating the need for secure disposal sites and the success our efforts have yielded. Our goal is to reduce the risk of addiction and overdose deaths from prescription drug abuse. We urge all residents to clean out their medicine cabinets and keep their homes and families safe from drug theft and abuse.”
Since 2010, accidental overdoses have claimed the lives of 332 individuals in Dutchess County, with more than 2,000 additional trips to the emergency room or hospitalizations attributed to overdoses. According to Dutchess County Deputy Medical Examiner Dr. Newman, while heroin and illegally made fentanyl are chiefly responsible for the rising toll in fatalities in recent years, more than half of overdose deaths involve prescription drugs, often opioids or sedatives, 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 our 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:
The Dutchess County Prescription Medication Drop Box Program yielded a total of 1,074 pounds of collected unused/unwanted medications in 2015 that were destroyed at the Dutchess County Resource Recovery Agency. To date more than 1,300 pounds have been collected and destroyed in 2016.
“Dutchess County’s efforts to dispose of unused and unwanted medications play a key role in fighting addiction where it often starts: the medicine cabinet,” said Dutchess County Legislator Angela Flesland, a member of the Dutchess County STOP-DWI Planning Board. “I encourage residents to continue to use our county’s numerous drop-off locations to ensure medications that are no longer needed don’t fall into the hands of someone who will abuse them. By safely and properly disposing of these medications, residents do their part to stop the spread 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.