If you pop into the Tarrytown Police Headquarters to use the bathroom, buy a day parking pass, or attend to some actual police business, you may notice a unit in the lobby that looks like a green ATM. Instead of dispensing money, it collects your drugs.
Tarrytown will have a permanent spot for residents to safely discard their unwanted, expired or unused medications here at police headquarters in the “Med Return Drug Collection Box.”
Tarrytown Police have teamed up with the Westchester County Office of Drug Abuse Prevention and the Westchester Coalition for Drug & Alcohol Free Youth to get the unit housed at the police department on Depot Plaza.
Chief Scott Brown speaks of the environmental benefits and the safety merits of this system, adding that dropping off items is a “no questions asked” anonymous act.
“It provides an environmentally safe alternative to disposing of medication in landfill or sewer systems. In addition to protecting the environment it will reduce the access to potentially addictive medications for accidental or intentional misuse by children or adults in the home,” Brown said. “It is completely anonymous; simply deposit unwanted medications in the drop box no questions asked. However, it should be noted that this program is not intended for the disposal of Sharps, syringes, needles or liquids.”
Acceptable items for deposit include:
· Prescription medications and samples,
· All over-the-counter medications,
· Pet medications,
· And medicated ointments.
Items not acceptable for deposit:
· IV bags,
· Bloody or infectious waste,
· Hydrogen peroxide,
· Aerosol cans,
· And EpiPens.
The National Take Back Initiative, started by the US Drug Enforcement Administration, helps to provide communities with venues to dispose of these drugs and help minimize a growing public health issue – prescription drug abuse.
According to DEA figures, more than seven million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs and each day 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet.
Starting Friday, Oct. 18, the Med Return Drug Collection Unit is operational and available in the lobby of the Tarrytown Police Headquarters at One Depot Plaza – 24 hours a day.
Samantha Turner contributed to this report.