Members of the Police Chiefs Association of Orange County, Police Chiefs of Orange County Police Academy staff and recruits, and members of the New York National Guard Counter Drug Task Force recently conducted their first semi-annual prescription medication disposal initiative at the Police Academy New Windsor.
Over 700 pounds of prescription medications were collected by municipal police agencies throughout Orange County and disposed of by the Association during their Fall Drug Prevention Initiative. During the Summer of 2016, the Police Chief’s Association and the NY National Guard Counter Drug Task Force partnered with CVS Pharmacy to install prescription medication disposal units at various police stations throughout Orange County under CVS Pharmacy’s Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program. This program provides a safe and environmentally responsible way to dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medications.
This drug abuse prevention initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. The prescription drug disposal box is intended to reduce the amount of unneeded medicine in residents’ homes and decrease prescription drug abuse, which has soared in recent years, especially among teenagers. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. According to a 2014 Partnership for Drug Free Kids Study, more than 70 percent of teenagers say it is easy to get prescription drugs from their parents’ medicine cabinets. These new Drug Collection Units will also help municipal law enforcement agencies prevent contamination in local landfills and water supplies from unused medications being improperly disposed of.
Drug Collection Unit sites at local municipal law enforcement agencies throughout the county are open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week and drugs can be dropped off with no questions asked. The Association would like to say thank you to “our community partners for their commitment to help our residents reduce the amount of unneeded medicine in their homes and in our city.”