Assemblyman Matt Slater (R,C-Yorktown), took a proactive stance on Tuesday, July 25, by organizing an event: “Shed theMeds.” This initiative brought together key supporters, including Yorktown Police Department, and notable organizations Drug Crisis in Our Backyard and Alliance for Safe Kids, in a united effort to support the community.
At the heart of this event was the crucial mission of safely disposing of expired medications that often linger in households. By providing a secure and responsible method for the disposal of these medications, Slater and the community aimed to address the pressing drug crisis facing New York. The gravity of the situation cannot be overlooked, with more than 100,000 lives lost to overdoses in the state this year alone. This crisis demands immediate and collective action.
“The statistics tell us we are entering a new chapter of the opioid crisis. With opioid overdose deaths and opioid overdoses increasing across New York State, coupled with the alarming rise of fentanyl and xylazine, we must take proactive measures to keep our loved ones and communities safe. There is clearly work that needs to be done and New York State must redouble its efforts to help our neighbors struggling with addiction,” said Slater.
“It’s just such a great thing to get rid of because if you have people over at your house or you go out, don’t think that kids aren’t going to go through your medicine cabinet because they are. So, the more you can get rid of the expired medication, narcotics and opioids: do it,” said Town Supervisor Tom Diana.
“We lost our oldest son in 2012 to a heroin overdose, but what started his addiction was pills that were taken from a medicine cabinet. It is so important to take your prescription pills out of your cabinets so no one can misuse them,” said founding member of Crisis in Our Backyard, Sue Salamone.
“On the senior end of this that I have noticed, is that there is a lot of forgetfulness and confusion. When these prescriptions are changed around there is a high chance of them getting the dosage confused and overdosing, so it is important to get rid of the drugs and pay attention and dispose of those drugs properly,” said Councilman Ed Lachterman.
“In Yorktown we take the drug crisis very seriously. The pain families go through when losing a loved one to a natural cause is tremendous, but it has to be worse to lose someone to pills. It's a concerted effort that has to start at the top and filter down to the parents watching their children and the children watching their parents when they get to an older age,” said Councilman Sergio Esposito.
“More than 100,000 lives were lost to overdose in the last year. And it seems overwhelming, and you wonder what you can do to make an impact, and this right here is what you can do. One-in-five teens that have started to experiment with drugs started with drugs in their family medicine cabinet. So please stay on top of your medication,” said Liz Talbert, executive director of Alliance for Safe Kids.