Summer Take Back Event on July 25th


The Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth is hosting a Summer Take Back Event on Saturday, July 25th. Community members can safely dispose of their expired, unwanted and unused medication at this event. The medication take back is in conjunction with Riverhead Town’s STOP Day (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants).

The Riverhead Police Department will accept medication at the Town Highway Yard, 1177 Osborn Ave., from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  All medication is accepted as long as it is properly sealed. This Summer Take Back is the first that the coalition is hosting since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Face masks are required. Participants must remain in their vehicle and adhere to social distancing guidelines by staying six feet apart after entering.

Preventing Prescription Drug Misuse

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 report taking prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription. In addition, 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.

Medication Collection Efforts

To date, over 8,000 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. This allows residents to safely and conveniently dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medication 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

In 2018, the coalition received CADCA’s Coalition of Excellence Award for positive outcomes related to prescription drug abuse prevention. In 2019, Riverhead was named Coalition of the Year.

Additional Information

Community members can also dispose of household chemicals and electronics at this Summer Take Back Event. However, this area of the event is open to Riverhead residents only. For more information, contact the Town of Riverhead at 631-727-3200 ext. 391 or visit