Fall Take Back Event on October 24th


The Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth is hosting a Fall Medication Take Back Event on Saturday, October 24th. Community members can safely dispose of expired, unwanted and unused medication at this event. It is being held in conjunction with Riverhead Town’s STOP Day (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants).

The event will be held at the Town Highway Yard, 1177 Osborn Ave., from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Riverhead Police will be on hand to accept medication. All medication is accepted as long as it is properly sealed. Face masks are required. Participants must remain in their vehicles and adhere to social distancing guidelines by staying six feet apart after entering.

There will be incentives for participants who dispose of medication. This Fall Take Back Event is only the second since the COVID-19 pandemic began last Winter.

Community members can also dispose of household chemicals and electronics, although this area will be open to Riverhead residents only. For more information, contact the Town of Riverhead at 631-727-3200 ext. 391 or visit TownofRiverheadNY.gov.

Medication Collection Efforts

“To date, we’ve collected over 8,600 pounds of medication,” said Kelly Miloski, coordinator of the Riverhead Coalition. “This has been accomplished through the combination of take back events and the permanent drop box.”

According to Miloski, a medication drop box was installed in the lobby of the Riverhead Police Department in August 2014. The drop box, located at 210 Howell Avenue, allows residents to safely and conveniently dispose of medication 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Deterra DRUG Deactivation Kits

In addition to giveaways, take back participants will also receive a free Deterra Drug Deactivation kit. The kits are scientifically tested and environmentally sound. They safely destroy prescription and over the counter pills, patches, liquids, creams and films.

“These kits are perfect for use during winter months when people are more likely to accumulate medications and less likely to visit the medication drop box due to bad weather or COVID concerns,” said Miloski.

Residents who are unable to make it to the take back event or visit the drop box can request a free Deterra kit by calling Riverhead CAP at (631) 727-3722. These kits are being made available through NYS OASAS and supplies are limited.

Preventing Prescription Drug ABuse

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. In addition, data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) states that nearly one-third of people aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time began by using a prescription drug for non-medical purposes.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) also 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.

For more information about the Fall Take Back Event or medication disposal, contact Kelly Miloski at (631) 727-3722 to Kelly.Miloski@RiverheadCAP.org.