Two Medication Take Back Events Scheduled in October
The Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth has two medication take back events scheduled in October for community members to safely dispose of their expired, unwanted and unused medication. The coalition is hosting take back events on Saturday, October 20th in conjunction with the Town’s S.T.O.P. Day (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) at the Riverhead Highway Department from 8 AM to 3 PM and on Saturday, October 27th in the lobby of Peconic Bay Medical Center from 10 AM – 2 PM in conjunction with the DEA’s 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Both events will offer the convenience of drive-up disposal and include giveaways for the participants.
“The safe disposal of unwanted and expired medication is one of the coalition’s critical focal points in its multi-faceted approach to preventing prescription drug addiction and overdose, in addition to heroin abuse,” CAP Community Prevention Specialist Kelly Miloski, MPH said. “We will continue to work with our local police department and our other partners to raise awareness about our community’s medication drop box and the importance of safely disposing of your medication.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, especially among teens. 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 National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that nearly half of young people who inject heroin reported abusing prescription painkillers before starting to use heroin. Some individuals reported taking up heroin because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription drugs. In addition, more people die from prescription drug overdoses than from all illegal drugs combined. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., outnumbering highway traffic fatalities.
To date, over 5,300 pounds of medication have been collected through the combination of take back events and the permanent drop box. In August 2014, the permanent medication drop box was installed in the lobby of the Riverhead Police Department at 210 Howell Avenue so that residents could safely and conveniently dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medication 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
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. In 2018, the coalition was awarded a second 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, please call Riverhead CAP at (631) 727-3722 or visit RiverheadCAP.org.