YORKTOWN, NY - Last week the Buffalo area suffered 10 opiate related overdoses in just 24 hours. Today, Senator Terrence Murphy, who serves as the co-chairman of the Senate's Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, hosted his second of five prescription drug drop off events as part of the effort to remove dangerous medications from residents' medicine cabinets.
"Having just returned from representing New York State at the National Conference of State Legislatures' conference on responsible pain management, we know there is a clear correlation between medication abuse and heroin addiction," Senator Murphy said. "Properly disposing of medications, and not flushing them down the toilet, is a crucial step in our ongoing battle against the heroin and opioid epidemic that is now recognized nationwide."
Earlier this month the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study which showed a dramatic rise in heroin use and overdose deaths. From 2002-2004, over 379,000 Americans reported using heroin within a 12 month period. According to this new report, that number has increased to 663,000 Americans, with overdose deaths nearly doubling. Last week's overdoses in the Buffalo area included one man dying, as well as a woman who overdosed twice, causing county officials to call for immediate care of overdose victims.
"This is an issue that Senator Murphy championed during his time as a local councilman here in Yorktown and we have continued to aggressively pursue a number of avenues to eradicate this epidemic from our local neighborhoods," Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace said. "I applaud Senator Murphy for putting this great event together and look forward to our continued partnership together on this important issue."
"Today was a great opportunity for all of our community members to recognize their ability to have an impact on the ongoing battle against the prescription drug and heroin epidemic," President of Alliance for Safe Kids Tricy Cushner said.
"Yorktown continues to prove itself committed to winning this war on heroin and opioid abuse," Yorktown Councilman Tom Diana said. "Having different organizations such as ASK and the Yorktown Citizens Task Force Against Heroin, our community continues to raise awareness, promotes prevention and partner with law enforcement to keep these drugs off our streets."
"I applaud Senator Murphy for organizing today's event," Yorktown Town Justice Gary Raniolo said. "As a Judge, any step we as a community can take to keep our youth out of the courtroom should be utilized to its full potential. The heroin and opiate epidemic is for real and widespread. Working together collectively we can make a difference in combating this deadly epidemic."
Senator Murphy will be hosting additional medication drop off events in Carmel on July 30th, Mt. Pleasant on August 14th and Lewisboro on August 27th.