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Proper Disposal of Prescription Drugs in New York

Westchester County in New York recognized the health and environmental hazards that are associated with the improper disposal of prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs.  Westchester launched the “medication take-back” program, which was designed to ensure the proper disposal of unused or expired medications. The program was the first of its kind in the state of New York. The first “medication take-back” event took place in 2008 and in just four days, more than 273 houses dropped off over 700 pounds of pills, liquids, ointments, and gels – an overwhelming initial success.

With drug addiction in New York at an all-time high, it is important to take responsibility for your old and unused medications and properly dispose of them. Any prescription or over-the-counter pills, liquids, ointments, and lotions, along with all pet medications, can be disposed of using the proper protocol. Treatment Alternatives of Westchester, New York offers you the following tips in regards to properly disposing your unused or expired medications.

– Until recently, consumers have been told to flush unwanted drugs. You should never dispose of medications by flushing them down the drain or toilet. We are now learning that flushing medications can taint local rivers and streams. It is important that we flush only toilet paper and human waste.

– If pharmaceutical collection is unavailable, you should treat your medications by adding water and then salt, ashes, dirt, coffee grounds, or some other form of undesirable substance to avoid intentional drug abuse in New York. Next, hide the medications to prevent discovery and removal. Dispose of the drugs as close to trash collection day as possible to avoid misuse.

– New York residents can reserve a time slot for appointments to discard their old or unused medications on collection day. These are days when New York county staff will be on hand to collect expired and unused medications for disposal.

– You will need to dispose of needles and syringes through a hospital or nursing home, which typically accepts them. The state strongly recommends that medications with attached needles be disposed of at hospital-based, household sharp collection programs. All hospitals in New York are required to collect sharps from households.

– New York police departments have on-going drug collection programs where they have locked and secure collection boxes where medications can be returned, twenty-four hours a day. It is recommended to call the specific police department first to confirm program details.

With New York prescription drug abuse at an all-time high, the responsibility of proper medication disposal is in our hands, and together we can keep the streets of New York clean of improperly disposed of medications. If you have a friend or family member that suffers from drug abuse in New York, then visit Treatment Alternatives of New York’s website today and take the first step in taking back control of your life.

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