The following is a press release from the offices of Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz:
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz (D-Brooklyn), Chair of the Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Committee, is encouraging residents with unused or expired prescription drugs to bring them to the 61st Precinct this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for safe disposal.
The precinct, located at 2575 Coney Island Avenue, is a local collection site for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications. The initiative is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Agency. The service is free and anonymous; no questions are asked when you drop off the drugs.
“Take-Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said Assemblyman Cymbrowitz, who is at the forefront of the fight to stem the prescription drug abuse epidemic in New York State. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”
Studies show that most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often 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 or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
In December, Assemblyman Cymbrowitz will preside over a public hearing focusing on prescription painkiller abuse and the availability of treatment services.
Last April, Americans reportedly turned in 371 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds—more than 1,400 tons—of pills.