Valhalla, NY - Westchester County is in the midst of a raging opioid epidemic that shows no signs of abating. There were 72 drug-related deaths in the County in 2011. By 2015, that number had swelled to 107. Stockpiles of unwanted or expired prescription drugs pilfered by drug dealers from medicine cabinets or retrieved from the trash and poured back into our communities are part of the escalating opioid dilemma.
Senator Terrence Murphy has a solution to help residents dispose of their outdated prescription drugs. On July 31st, Senator Murphy partnered with the Town of Mt. Pleasant, the Mt. Pleasant Police Department and the Thornwood Lions Club to launch the second year of his successful "Shed the Meds" prescription drop-off program at the Mt. Pleasant Town Hall. Last year, Shed the Meds took 1,000 pounds of prescription drugs off the streets.
"Make no mistake; we are in a war against an epidemic of opioid abuse that threatens our families, neighborhoods, and our quality of life," said Senator Murphy. "The problem can be traced to our medicine cabinets. Kids start there and move onto bigger, more deadly forms of drugs. Dealers that gain access to prescription drugs resell them to addicts who would be better off getting treatment. 'Shed the Meds' helps reduce the volume of drugs that are available to sell or abuse and can keep a loved one from becoming another statistic."
2017 Mt. Pleasant Shed the Meds
Mt. Pleasant Town Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi said, "I want to thank Senator Murphy for his efforts to keep unwanted and expired medications out of the hands of drug dealers and anyone who might abuse them. Anything we can do, whether it is a drop-off program or increased enforcement can go a long way in decreasing the number of overdoses and deaths from prescription drugs. We had a great response to the program. It is an easy way to dispose of excess prescription drugs in a safe and responsible manner."
"Shed the Meds is a valuable program for the community," said Mt. Pleasant Police Chief Paul Oliva "Most people do not know what to do with their old prescription drugs. 'Shed the Meds' gives them a safe alternative for disposing potentially dangerous drugs that could wind up in the hands of kids or back on the streets."
Anyone with unwanted or expired medications can bring them to a Shed the Meds event where they will be disposed of safely. However, needles cannot be accepted.
Safe disposal helps protect the environment and eliminates the risk of these drugs getting into the hands of small children or those who might misuse them. Improper disposal of medications, such as pouring them down the drain or flushing them down the toilet, can potentially pollute local waterways.
The dates and locations for future "Shed the Meds" summer programs are:
Somers - Tuesday, August 15 at the Somers Police Department, 100 Primrose Street/Route 139 in Somers.
Yorktown - Tuesday, August 22 at Jefferson Village (parking lot area), Hill Blvd. in Yorktown.
Carmel - Wednesday, September 6 at Carmel Town Hall, 60 McAlpin Avenue in Mahopac.
ALL FUTURE SHED THE MEDS EVENTS WILL BEGIN AT 9:00 AM.