The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recently reported that “In 2010, about 12 million Americans (age 12 or older) reported nonmedical use of prescription painkillers in the past year.” Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions. “Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have skyrocketed in the past decade. Every year, nearly 15,000 people die from overdoses involving these drugs—more than those who die from heroin and cocaine combined.” (CDC)
The Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition, in conjunction with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and Putnam County Department of Health, held a Medication Take Back Day event on Saturday, Nov. 17. The initiative took place at Putnam Hospital Center (PHC) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Putnam Hospital Center and Putnam Family and Community Services also partnered in the successful event.
Within the five hours, a total of 101 area residents dropped off approximately 85,406 pills/doses, 5 percent of which were “controlled” medications. Pharmacists Alfred Dioguardi (PHC), Angelo DeSimone (PHC), and Christy Mathews (PHC), and Donald Seifert graciously donated their time and expertise to properly dispose of the medications.
The 320 pounds of unused or unwanted medications were then destroyed at an undisclosed location. Since the Medication take Back programs inception, nearly two tons of medications, many of them controlled substances, have been collected.
The “Medication Take Back” initiative encourages Putnam County residents to:
- Take inventory of your prescription, over-the-counter medicine, and vet medications.
- Lock your medicine chest.
- Dispose of your unused, unwanted, and expired medicine in your home or at a proper disposal site.
- Take your medicine(s) exactly as prescribed.
- Talk to your children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.
The Putnam County Communities That Care Coalition, Sheriff's Office, and Health Department applaud residents for disposing of these unwanted items in a sanitary and safe way. The success of this initiative is a community effort that has been effective in not only protecting our youth, but our environment. Each day we see evidence of the toll prescription drug abuse has on our community. By participating in the Medication Take Back event, Putnam County residents are given the opportunity to ensure safety for themselves and New York’s waterways.
Please visit and join the Putnam CTC Coalition on Facebook by searching “Putnam County Communities That Care – NY” or on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/PutnamCTCNY or call 845-225-4646.