Brewster, NY - Over the past two years, deaths from drug overdoses jumped in nearly every county across the United States, driven largely by an explosion in addiction to prescription painkillers and heroin. Medicines languishing in homes have become starter kits for young drug abusers and valuable cash cows for dealers. To help address this issue, Senator Terrence Murphy created "Shed the Meds," a highly successful prescription drug drop-off program that has taken more than 5,000 pounds of potentially deadly drugs out of people's medicine cabinets and off the streets.
Senator Murphy hosted his final summer "Shed the Meds" prescription drop-off program for 2018 at the Brewster Fire Department on September 6th, partnering with Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, Putnam County, the Village of Brewster, the Brewster Police Department, and Drug Crisis in Our Backyard.
Within an hour, local residents had turned in enough prescription drugs to fill an extra large trash bag. By the end of the day, two more trash bags brimming with discarded drugs were filled, making the Brewster Shed the Meds one of Murphy's most successful take-back events.
"The cost in human lives of prescription medications ruining our communities is staggering,"said Senator Murphy. "We have been doing this program for four years. Judging by today's turnout, our message is getting through. We are making a difference."
Assemblyman Byrne commented, "I know the drug crisis is a very important issue that Senator Murphy is passionate about. We have seen it in the legislation he has introduced and has fought tirelessly for. Shed the Meds has helped protect families by keeping drugs away from children and addicts who would abuse or attempt to resell them, and also helped protect the environment.""Most people know what's in their medicine cabinets. What they don't know is the danger; that they're flirting with disaster by keeping their old drugs where children can find them," said Brewster Police Chief John Del Gardo. "By bringing these medications in, residents can be assured they've done their part to help make the community safer."
Susan Salomone, Executive Director and co-founder of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard stated, "Thank you, Senator Murphy, for caring about the communities and families affected by addiction. You have helped change the conversation about addiction by making it a priority to increase awareness, education, and treatment. You are singlehandedly making a difference by bringing people and organizations together in the fight against the opioid epidemic."
Drug Crisis in Our Backyard and CoveCare Center have initiated the Family Support Navigator Program designed to assist families and individuals residing in Westchester and Putnam Counties who are struggling with substance abuse disorder by providing information on available resources that are vital to recovery. The program provides free services at the individuals or family's choice of location. For more information, contact Nilda Nieves, Family Support Navigator, or Susan Salomone, CASAC, Resource Manager, at 845-225-2700, Ext. 245.
This year, Senator Murphy hosted Shed the Meds programs in Carmel, Mount Kisco, Somers, Pawling, Yorktown, and Brewster in conjunction with the towns, local police, and numerous community-based drug prevention and treatment centers, including Drug Crisis in Our Backyard, the Mt. Kisco Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council, Somers Partners in Prevention, Alliance for Safe Kids, and the Pawling Council on Addiction Prevention Education.