Murphy announces $5k grant for Drug Crisis in Our Backyard

Terrence Murphy

August 19, 2016

YORKTOWN, NY - It seems fitting that Senator Terrence Murphy announced  a $5,000 grant to support the work of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard at Wednesday's "Shed the Meds" program at Jefferson Village in Yorktown. Both "Shed the Meds" and Drug Crisis in Our Backyard have been instrumental in helping raise awareness concerning the dangers of drugs and drug addiction.

Senator Murphy praised the work of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard, which helps individuals and families struggling against addiction. Co-founder Carol Christiansen was on hand to receive news of the grant. Senator Murphy said, "Many of us have to deal with tragedies. Carol lost her son to addiction. Now she volunteers to help save others." (Ms. Christiansen received a 2016 Women of Distinction Award in June from Senator Murphy in recognition of her volunteer and community work.)

Members of Drug Crisis in Our Back Yard, Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) and Yorktown Against Heroin (YAH), joined with Senator Murphy, Yorktown Town Supervisor Michael Grace, Yorktown Councilman Ed Lachterman, Yorktown Councilman and YAH founder Tom Diana, and Town Justices The Honorable Salvatore A. Longonia and The Honorable Gary J. Raniolo at Yorktown's "Shed the Meds" program.

In commenting on the "Shed the Meds" program, which was implemented to help stimulate community awareness about the dangers of prescription drugs, Senator Murphy said, "You cannot fight the scourge of drugs in our community alone. I am proud to have the support of fellow legislators and local elected officials, as well as organizations in the community that have joined us in this fight, including Drug Crisis in our Back Yard, Alliance for Safe Kids and Yorktown Again Heroin."

Yorktown Town Supervisor Michael Grace said, "Medicines that languish in cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug use in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses die to these drugs. ''Shed the Meds' is a safe and convenient way to dispose of expired and unused household drugs. The program also helps to reduce the amount of medications entering the environment and threatening our water supply."

"Senator Murphy's 'Shed the Meds' program is an essential element needed to stem the abuse of illegal drugs.  Not only do these medications form the habits that build up to the abuses of other drugs such as heroin, but our youth struggle with peer pressure to take these drugs from the home and abuse them,"  said Yorktown Town Councilman Ed Lachterman.  "One of the most dangerous of these abuses is what is called a pharm party.  This is where these specific drugs are thrown into a bowl and kids just take them at random.  The results of these pharm parties can be deadly.  We must continue to get these meds disposed of properly for the sake of our children."

Yorktown Councilman and YAH founder Tom Diana added, "When we founded YAH a year ago, our mission was to increase public awareness about dangerous drugs, including prescription medications. We need to recognize that there is a drug crisis and we need to be more proactive as a society to find solutions to stop it. Even the President knows there is a problem infesting our neighborhoods."

"If anybody wants proof there is a problem, come visit our courtroom," said the Honorable Salvatore A. Longonia, Yorktown Town Justice. "The problem starts in our medicine cabinets. Kids start there and move onto bigger, more deadly forms of drugs. Programs like 'Shed the Meds' help reduce the volume of drugs that are available to sell or abuse."

In a statement, Susan Salomone, Executive Director and co-founder of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard said, "Drug Crisis in our Backyard is happy to support Senator Murphy in helping people dispose of medication that is no longer needed or expired. Too often young people search their parents or grandparents medicine cabinets for unused opiates and begin their lifelong addiction."

The next and final summer "Shed the Meds" program will be held at the Somers Police Department, 100 Primrose Street/Route 139 in Somers on Friday, August 26 at 9:00 a.m.Anyone can bring any type of medication for disposal, however needles cannot be accepted.