FINGER LAKES--To help combat the epidemic of prescription drug abuse, Yates and Schuyler Counties will be hosting a disposal service for unused prescription drugs on Saturday, April 30. Taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at locations throughout the Finger Lakes, the program, which is being spearheaded by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, is designed to help people rid their homes of expired, potentially dangerous, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
"The drug overdose epidemic in the United States is a clear and present public health, public safety, and national security threat," said a statement released by the DEA. "The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day reflects DEA's commitment to Americans' safety and health, encouraging the public to remove unneeded medications from their homes as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting."
The other factor that makes prescription drug take backs so important is they not only remove the drugs from the supply chain, but also prevent the drugs from having negative effects on the environment.
"The Sheriff's Office advises that disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash may pose potential environmental, safety, and health hazards," said the Yates County Sheriff's Department.
In Yates County, disposal will take place at the Yates County Courthouse at 415 Liberty Street, Penn Yan, where YCSO uniform officers will be present at the drive-thru event to take the drugs for proper disposal.
"The service is free and anonymous, no exit of your vehicle and no questions asked," said the department.
Also in Yates, there are permanent drug drop-box locations made available from the Sheriff's Office located at the Public Safety building in Penn Yan 24x7 and M-F at the Starkey Town Hall in Dundee and the Rushville village offices.
"These daily availability locations have been used by many, and we thank you for the proper disposal of meds," said Sheriff Ron Spike.
In Schuyler County, unused medicine can be dropped off at the Odessa and Tyrone Fire Departments from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., April 30.
The Schuyler Sheriff's Office also has confidential drop off boxes at its office in Watkins Glen and the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls.
If you are not located in Yates or Schuyler and wish to participate in the prescription drop off program on April 30, go to https://www.dea.gov/takebackday to find a location close to you.