Today, Assemblymember Monica Wallace (D-Lancaster), Assemblymember Sean Ryan (D-Buffalo), and local leaders are calling on Western New Yorkers to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs this Saturday, October 28, 2017 during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The nationwide event will run from 10:00am-2:00pm. Thanks to police departments throughout the county, Erie County will have 13 sites available for drop-off on Saturday.
Every day, more than 90 Americans die from an opioid overdose. In the midst of the opioid epidemic, communities and law enforcement agencies are partnering to rid households of unused prescription drugs. For many victims of the epidemic, opioid prescriptions are to blame. People who are addicted to prescription opioids and heroin most often begin their addiction by using unwanted or expired prescription opioids that are left unattended in the home. The most recent National Prescription Drug Take Back Day held in April accounted for 37,769 pounds of prescription drugs being collected for disposal in New York State1. This Take Back Day will also help to prevent people from flushing away unused prescription drugs. Sewage systems are unable to filter out medications that enter into the water supply. This negatively impacts ecosystems in rivers, streams, lakes, and oceans.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice2, there will be 13 sites in Erie County. Those sites are:
- Evans Municipal Center: 8787 Erie Rd. Rt 5, Angola, NY 14006
- North Collins Police Department: 10543 Main Street, North Collins, NY 14111
- Bertrand Chaffee Hospital: 1540 Maple Road, Springville, NY 14141
- Mercy Ambulatory Center: 3669 Southwestern Blvd, Orchard Park, NY 14127
- Twin District Fire Department: 4999 William Street, Lancaster, NY 14086
- Hamburg Youth and Recreation Center: 4540 Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg, NY 14075
- Buffalo State College: 1300 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo 14222
- St. Joseph's Hospital: 2605 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga 14227
- Kenmore Mercy Hospital: 2950 Elmwood Avenue, Kenmore 14217
- Lackawanna Police Department: 714 Ridge Rd, Lackawanna 14218
- Millard Fillmore Hospital: 1540 Maple Road, Williamsville 14221
- West Seneca Senior Center: 4620 Seneca Street, West Seneca 14224
- Grand Island Town Hall: 2255 Baseline Road, Grand Island 14072
“It is not unusual for people to have half empty bottles of unused pills in their medicine cabinet,” said Assemblymember Monica Wallace. “Those unused pills create the opportunity for young adults to experiment with opioids. This National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a great opportunity for households to safely dispose of unused and unwanted prescription drugs. I’m grateful for law enforcement agencies here in Western New York and across the country for stepping up and leading this effort.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said "I encourage everyone to look through their medicine cabinets and visit their local prescription drug take-back location tomorrow. New York State has worked diligently over the last few years to address the opioid epidemic with important changes to the law, and investment in addiction treatment. Even with this action, one of the best ways to address the epidemic is to get to the root of the problem and prevent addiction in the first place. Ensuring that prescription opioids and other prescription drugs are properly disposed of will help to prevent the cycle of addiction."
“National Prescription Drug Take Back Day gives residents an excellent opportunity to get peace of mind by disposing of their unused or unneeded medications safely and preventing them from falling into the wrong hands or fouling our environment,” said County Executive Mark Poloncarz. “These medications may be sitting dormant in medicine cabinets, bathroom cupboards, or bedroom drawers but they can be a danger if not properly disposed of, and I thank the many partners who came together to support his Take Back Day and keep our community safer and healthier.”
“I’m proud to stand here today with the Cheektowaga Police Department and my fellow partners in government to bring awareness to National Prescription Drug Take Back Day,” said Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski. “The proper disposal of unused, unwanted and expired prescription drugs is crucial in the fight against prescription drug addiction and the opioid epidemic. In many circumstances, prescription drugs are left unattended and may ultimately end up in the hands of individuals who are or can become addicted. Cheektowaga recognized the importance of disposing no longer used prescription drugs and took a proactive approach installing a permanent prescription drug drop off box in the police department’s main lobby late last year. I’m hopeful residents will join the Town and our police department in disposing their unwanted, unused and expired prescription drugs tomorrow and continue to take a proactive approach throughout the year.”