Over 100 pounds of prescription drugs and 67 bottles of opioids were collected this week at a "Shed the Meds" prescription turn-in event hosted by Senator Fred Akshar, Binghamton Mayor Rich David, the Binghamton Police Department and the Binghamton Fire Department.
“Shed the Meds” events encourage community members to dispose of old prescription drugs in a safe and controlled environment to help ensure that these drugs stay off the street and out of the wrong hands.
Senator Akshar said “We're taking a multifaceted approach in dealing with a complex issue through events like Shed the Meds, through legislation and through youth programs in our schools like YES! Leads. This is truly a community issue that requires an entire community’s response. The work we put in to engage community members across the 52nd District helps contribute to the efforts by law enforcement and emergency personnel. It's all part of a larger community effort to fight this scourge together.”
Binghamton Mayor David said, “Overdose numbers continue to trend the wrong way nationwide, the City of Binghamton will utilize every tool at our disposal to fight this epidemic. I'm proud to partner with Senator Akshar to provide our residents with the opportunity to do their part to help save lives.”
Binghamton Police Chief Joseph Zikuski said, “Shed the Meds is a great safety measure for the community to remove these drugs that could potentially end up on the street. Getting the community actively involved is essential in fighting the heroin epidemic.”
The event also included free Narcan training led by the Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP), where approximately 40 people were trained to administer Narcan and received Narcan kits.
John Barry, the Executive Director of STAP said, “The problem of drug abuse is overwhelming in our communities. Small steps can make a big difference. It can be as simple as cleaning out your medicine cabinets or by learning to save a life with Narcan. In 2016 alone, over 300 lives were saved by Narcan kits distributed by STAP.”
This is the fourth “Shed the Meds” event in the 52nd District sponsored by Senator Akshar since taking office. To date, Akshar's Shed the Meds events have collected over 500 lbs of prescription drugs, with an estimated street value of over $180,000, according to local officials.