MT. KISCO, NY - With the specter of increasing drug abuse hanging over our communities, Senator Terrence Murphy made a bold request, challenging six towns and villages in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties to collect 1,000 pounds of unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Yorktown, Mount Kisco, Croton-on-Hudson, Mahopac, Mt. Pleasant and Pawling accepted the challenge. Through the concerted efforts of Senator Murphy, concerned residents and community groups, the "1,000 Pound Challenge" was a rousing success. Fittingly, the challenge was met on Saturday, October 22nd, which also marked National Drug Take-Back Day.
"Congratulations and thank you to the participating communities. You met the challenge head on and succeeded. That's a thousand pounds of drugs that have been destroyed that won't threaten our families," said Senator Murphy, "Nearly 130 people in the U.S. die every day from a drug overdose, and most of these involve prescription opioids or heroin. The 1,000 pound challenge was not just about collecting hazardous drugs - it was about saving lives."<!--more-->
Susan Salomone, President and Executive Director of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard, said, "We were excited to be part of a productive effort to remove unwanted and expired medications from medicine cabinets. We have learned from experience that the first place children start on the road to addiction is looking for drugs in their parents' medicine cabinets."
"Despite the rainy weather, we had an excellent turn out, with more than eighty families participating in the program," said Mel Berger, Chairman of the Mount Kisco Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Council. "It brought the community closer together, because people could see there was a concerted effort being made to get drugs off the streets. The 1,000 pound challenge also helped our organization get our message out that we are here to help families."
The 1,000 Pound Challenge was an extension of the Senator's successful "Shed the Meds" Program, which was implemented in seven locations throughout the 40th Senate District this past summer.