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Encouraging local residents to turn in their unused or expired prescription medications safely
The 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be held on Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. The Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, community partners, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will provide the public with an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by clearing out their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. This event is to raise awareness and help community members dispose of unused or expired prescriptions at locations all across the county, free, anonymous, and no questions asked.
The National Take Back Day addresses a critical public safety and public health issue. Medicines that deteriorate over time in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. “Very often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands that can result in tragedy. National Take Back Day provides hundreds of people with the opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets and dispose of prescriptions in a safe and anonymous manner,” said Kelley Potter, HOPE Chautauqua Coalition Coordinator. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarmingly high rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet, drain, or throwing them directly in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards to the environment. Responsible disposal of unwanted medications is a simple, but very important act in our regional fight against drug abuse.
Prescription medications may be brought to any of the following locations in Chautauqua County: Chautauqua Mall (318 E Fairmount Ave, Lakewood, NY 14750 – JC Penney Parking Lot), Southside Pharmacy (766 Foote Ave, Jamestown, NY 14701), Westfield Family Physicians (138 E Main St, Westfield, NY 14787), or Alstar Ambulance in Dunkirk (738 Monroe St, Dunkirk, NY 14048). Only pills and other solids, such as patches can be brought to the collection sites for disposal. Liquids and needles (sharps) will not be accepted.
To complement this event, HOPE Chautauqua’s ongoing Take It To THE BOX campaign is aimed at bringing awareness of the permanent disposal drop boxes in the county and three very important actions: Safe Use, Safe Storage, and Safe Disposal of medications. These important actions can be taken today to prevent the misuse and addiction to prescription drugs and heroin.
Permanent Drop box location sites are available across Chautauqua County: Jamestown Police Department (201 East 2nd St. Jamestown 24/7), Westfield Police Department (27 Elm St. Eason Hall Westfield 24/7), Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office (15 E. Chautauqua St. Mayville 24/7), Fredonia Police Department (9 Church St. Fredonia 24/7), Silver Creek Court Clerk’s Office Municipal Building (172 Central Ave. Silver Creek; M-Th, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Lakewood/Busti Police Department (20 West Summit Street, Lakewood 24/7) and the Town of Ellicott Police Department (located in the Administration Building, 215 South Work Street, Falconer, NY M–F 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Coming soon, additional drop box sites will be located at the City of Dunkirk Police Department (342 Central Avenue, Dunkirk hours TBD) and the Westfield Community Pharmacy (Main Street, Westfield hours TBD). Again, all of these are free and anonymous and local residents are encouraged to utilize these resources.
HOPE Chautauqua is a community substance abuse prevention coalition and an initiative of Chautauqua Alcohol & Substance Abuse Council (CASAC). Since 1974, CASAC has provided prevention education and community awareness regarding the prevention of alcohol and other drug abuse.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or the October 27 National Take Back Day event visit www.casacweb.org or go to the DEA Diversion