The following is a message from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:

Photo by Erica Sherman

Photo by Erica Sherman

In an effort to provide a safer alternative for prescription drug disposal, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are sponsoring the Eighth National Prescription Drugs Take-Back Initiative, this Saturday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The drug take-back event will be held at the 61st Police Precinct, 2758 Coney Island Avenue between Avenue W and Gravesend Neck Road, where Brooklyn families are encouraged to safely dispose of their unused or expired prescription drugs, so they don’t end up in the wrong hands.

Unused prescription drugs, if left in households or disposed of improperly, can pose serious health and public safety risks. Over the past decade, prescription drug abuse has seen a dramatic increase. Studies show that nearly 1.9 million people in the U.S. meet abuse or dependence criteria for prescription drugs. And since prescription drugs are sold legally, they often fall into the wrong hands.

By safely disposing prescription drugs, we can also help preserve our environment. Many people believe that flushing unused medications down the toilet or drain is actually the responsible thing to do. Unfortunately, since many water treatment facilities are not equipped to properly filter prescription drugs from waste water, drugs often end up in our lakes and rivers.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) found low levels of antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids in 80 percent of the rivers and streams tested. The presence of such drugs in our water negatively affects fish and wildlife, and concerns have been raised that drug-resistant bacteria may develop because of long-term exposure to low levels of antibiotics. These problems can be easily avoided by proper disposal of unused prescriptions.

For more information about the National Prescription Drugs Take-Back Initiative, visit DEA.gov or call (800) 882-9539.

If you have questions or concerns about this or any other matter, please contact my office at (718) 743-4078. My office is located at 1800 Sheepshead Bay Road (between Emmons Avenue and Shore Parkway). We’re open Monday throughThursday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays until 5 p.m. Of course, you may always email me at cymbros@assembly.state.ny.us.

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