Ritchie Encourages People to Clean Out Medicine Cabinets Through “Shed the Meds" Events

Brian Dwyer

November 28, 2018

For many, the rest of 2018 will be about bringing family and friends together to celebrate the holidays.  For some, that means having a large number of people in your home.

While prescription drugs are a necessity for people, many homes have medicine cabinets full of prescriptions that are expired or no longer used.  They can be a danger to people—especially children—and the environment, if they are not properly disposed of.

In an effort to help ensure your holidays are a bit safer, State Senator Patty Ritchie will be teaming up with local hospitals and law enforcement agencies to host several “Shed the Meds” drug take back events in Jefferson and Oswego Counties.

“As we welcome family and friends into our homes this holiday season, it is important we ensure these drugs do not end up in the hands of unknowing children, or anyone else they were not prescribed to,” Senator Ritchie said. “Disposing of these medications properly, through an event like ‘Shed the Meds’ is one way we can guarantee the safety of our family and friends, as well as the environment.”

The dates, times and locations for Senator Ritchie’s three events are as follows:

Jefferson County

Monday, December 10 at Carthage Area Hospital (lobby) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

  • 1001 West St., Carthage, NY 13619
  • Co-hosted by Carthage Area Hospital and  the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office


Wednesday, December 12 at River Hospital (lobby) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • 4 Fuller St., Alexandria Bay, NY 13607
  • Co-hosted by River Hospital and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office


Thursday, December 13 at Samaritan Medical Center (lobby) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • 830 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601
  • Co-hosted by Samaritan Medical Center and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office


Oswego County

Thursday, December 13 at Oswego Health (lobby) from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

  • 110 W. Sixth St., Oswego, NY 13126
  • Co-hosted by Oswego Health and the Oswego County Sheriff's Office


In addition, Senator Ritchie is reminding St. Lawrence County residents they are able to drop off unwanted medications at drug disposal kiosks at Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center and Gouverneur Hospital.  Through this program, residents can drop off unwanted, expired, or leftover medications at locked collection kiosk sites at either hospital, or by using a pre-paid, mail-back envelope, at no cost.

The drop-off kiosks are available in the main lobby of both hospitals, Monday through Friday. Collection hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Ogdensburg and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Gouverneur. The kiosk program will continue through July.

Senator Ritchie also teamed up earlier this year with local hospitals, community groups and law enforcement agencies to collect nearly 400 pounds of unwanted or expired medications at “Shed the Meds” drug take-back events.