The Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth is offering plenty of opportunities to safely dispose of your unused or expired medication during the month of October.
The coalition is hosting take-back events on Saturday, Oct. 15 in conjunction with Riverhead Town’s S.T.O.P. Day (Stop Throwing Out Pollutants) at the Highway Department at 1177 Osborn Avenue from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturday, Oct. 22 in the lobby of Peconic Bay Medical Center at 1300 Roanoke Avenue from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The coalition is also partnering with the Southampton Town Police Department, Southampton Town Councilwoman Julie Lofstad and the Southampton Youth Bureau to host a medication take back at the Flanders Farm Fresh Food Market at the Flanders Community Center on Oct. 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Community Center is located at 655 Flanders Road.
All three events will include giveaways for the participants.
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) has found that nearly half of young people who inject heroin reported abusing prescription painkillers before starting to use heroin. Some young people reported taking up heroin because it is cheaper and easier to obtain than prescription drugs.
NIDA has also found that more people die from prescription drug overdoses than from all illegal drugs combined, and prescription drug deaths are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, outnumbering highway traffic fatalities.
“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,” said CAP Community Prevention Specialist Kelly Miloski. “We will continue to work with our local police departments and our other partners to raise awareness about our community’s medication drop box and the importance of safely disposing of your medication.”
To date, over 2,000 pounds of medication have been collected through the combination of the take-back events and the permanent drop box installed in August of 2014 in the lobby of the Riverhead Police Department at 210 Howell Avenue.
Residents can safely and conveniently dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medication 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at the police department.
The mission of the Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth is to work with collaborative partners in planning, implementing and evaluating strategies that prevent youth substance use.
In 2013, the coalition was awarded a 5-year Drug-Free Communities Support Grant through the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.
For more information about the coalition, or to participate, please call Riverhead CAP at 631.727.3722 or visit RiverheadCAP.org.