Ritchie Announces “Shed the Meds” Events

Patty Ritchie

August 08, 2014

Teams With Law Enforcement, Local Hospitals to Host Events in August and September

State Senator Patty Ritchie is inviting people who are looking to dispose of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs to attend three “Shed the Meds” events she will be hosting in Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties. 

Last month, thousands of individual pills totaling more than 150 pounds were disposed of at a similar event held in Ogdensburg. Her upcoming events are being hosted in conjunction with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department, River Hospital, Alexandria Bay Police Department, Carthage Area Hospital, Carthage Police Department, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, Govuerneur Hospital and Gouverneur Police Department.   

“Unused, expired and unwanted prescription drugs pose a number of risks—including acting as the gateway drugs for other substances such as heroin, getting into the hands of children and potentially polluting water through improper disposal,” said Senator Ritchie.

“Last month’s event in St. Lawrence County showed us there’s a real need for people to dispose of medications in a responsible way.  I’m hopeful that these additional events will be just as successful and will result in safer homes and safer communities overall.”

“Here in our region, as well as across the state and our nation, we’re seeing more and more people struggling with addictions to prescription drugs.  What’s even more troubling is the fact that the abuse of these medications can often times lead to the use of  harder drugs like heroin,” said Jefferson County Undersheriff Paul Trudeau. 

“We’re pleased to join with Senator Ritchie and step up our efforts to not only stop the spread of prescription drug abuse but also, to further our mission of making the North Country a safer place.”

Senator Ritchie’s Shed the Meds events will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on the following dates:

·         August 13: River Hospital, 4 Fuller Street, Alexandria Bay

·         August 19: Carthage Area Hospital, 1001 West Street, Carthage

·         September 16: Gouverneur Hospital, 77 West Barney Street, Gouverneur

There is no limit to the number or type of medicines that residents may bring for disposal.

Last year, Americans filled a record 4 billion prescriptions, and it is estimated that millions of pills sit unused in consumers’ medicine cabinets.

In addition to the upcoming Shed the Meds events, Jefferson County residents may also dispose of unwanted medicines seven days a week at the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building, located at 753 Waterman Drive in Watertown. In St. Lawrence County, residents may drop off medications at the Public Safety Building, located at 48 Court Street in Canton.