Huntington Hospital is participating in National Prescription Drug Takeback Day on Saturday, which encourages people to turn in expired or unused prescription medications so they can be disposed of properly.
Last fall’s Take-Back Day event collected a record-setting 912,305 pounds of prescription drugs, the Drug Enforcement Administration said. It first launched its Take-Back Day in 2010, and since then has collected more than 9 million pounds of medicine from the public.
Northwell Health said it collected more than 300 pounds of unused prescriptions during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day last October.
“It was so gratifying to see the large quantity of unneeded and expired drugs brought to Northwell Health facilities last drug take back day in October,” said Peg Butler, Northwell Health’s assistant vice president of marketing and external relations who helped organize last year’s efforts in Manhattan as well as this year’s receptacles. “We want to do everything we can to keep these drugs from falling in to the wrong hands. This is a hugely important community service we’re proud to provide.”
Experts cite multiple hazards of prescriptions not being disposed of correctly: younger people are tempted to poke around bathroom cabinets to sample drugs not meant for them, and dumping prescriptions into the ground or water system is harmful to the environment.
Northwell Health has targeted opioid deaths as part of its mission of improving community health.
There were 2,726 deaths related to opioids in New York State in 2015, according to the New York State Department of Health, up from 2,256 the prior year. New York City reported 893 of those deaths; another 463 more occurred on Long Island.
Also participating regularly in prescription takeback efforts are:
- King Kullen, 50 New York Ave, Halesite
- Suffolk County Police-2nd Precinct: 1071 Park Avenue, Huntington, which maintains a box where drugs can be dropped off anonymously
- Lloyd Harbor Police Department: 380 W Neck Rd, Lloyd Harbor