Our Coalition Partners with Northern Dutchess Hospital for Safe Disposal of Prescription Drugs

Dispose of medications at Northern Dutchess Hospital this Saturday, October 29th 10-2.

For ongoing medication disposal needs, including sharps, go wo www.sharpsinc.com/locations.  CVS in Rhinebeck, and Hannaford’s in Red Hook both participate and will send an envelope which can be used for disposing of sharps, over the counter, and prescription meds.  Controlled substances, such as OxyContin, aren’t accepted by mail.  The drugs and needles are shipped to Sharps where they are incinerated — stil in their mailers — under licensed law-enforcement supervision.

DEA Take Back Day

The home medicine cabinet is a minefield.

Each day, nearly 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time – and a majority of those pills are known to come from family and friends, including the medicine cabinet.

With children back in school, now is the perfect time to clean out your medicine cabinet. There are many ways to do this depending on how organized or attuned your community is to this issue.

Most leftover and expired medicines can be thrown in the household trash, and a few can be flushed down the toilet. But I suggest taking advantage of the growing number of community-based “take-back” programs that offer a safer disposal alternative.

These convenient, cost-effective programs allow the public to bring unused drugs to a central location for proper disposal. The drop-off locations vary across the country. Many are at police departments. Others are at temporary places like pharmacies and community centers. All of them use secure equipment and strict procedures to prevent theft or diversion.

Home medicine cabinets have become the new drug dealers. But it’s one drug dealer that parents can put a stop to.

For me, the take-back programs are the only secure and environmentally sound way to dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals without contaminating surface and ground waters.

Started in the mid-2010s, the take-back programs spread fast to keep up with the prescription drug abuse epidemic that kills thousands and thousands of people annually in the United States. The effort picked up steam when the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) organized the National Prescription Drug Take Back Days in September 2010, April 2011, and again this past August. Nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies throughout the nation have participated in these events, collecting more than 309 tons of pills.

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