Accidental drug overdose is the fourth leading cause of death among
adults in New York. Approximately 85% of drug overdoses occur in the company of others, but often no medical assistance is sought. Now, the person who has taken an overdose or a witness to it will be able to seek needed health care without fear of prosecution for possession of the substance.
A person who in good faith seeks care for himself or someone experiencing a life threatening emergency will not be charged or prosecuted for a drug- or alcohol-related offense including possession of drug paraphernalia, with some exceptions.
This law provides significant legal protection for any individual reporting a drug overdose to emergency first responder. The reporting individual is protected against criminal charges and prosecution for possession of controlled substances, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. This protection applies to both the person seeking assistance in good faith as well as to the person who has overdosed.
Needle Access & Disposal: Through the Erie County ESAP (Expanded Syringe Access Program), the Erie County Department of Health (along with representatives from the fields of Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, business, sanitation, law enforcement, pharmacy, spiritual, government, medicine and lay persons) created a partnership to safely dispose of used needles, syringes & lancets free of charge.
Disposal is now very convenient to county residents through the establishment of kiosk disposal sites in many pharmacies, police agencies, Community Based Organizations and Diabetes Specialty Centers.
The Erie County Department of Health is a distribution site for limited free medical supplies such as syringes, band aids, cotton, alcohol wipes, etc. for Erie County residents. For more information, contact Liese Ness at (716) 858-4752.
Medication Disposal: If not disposed of properly, prescription and over-the-counter medications pose a hazard to our environment and risk getting into the hands of children or others who may abuse the drugs or be unintentionally harmed by their use.
Residents are encouraged to gather unused, expired and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications. Click on Medication and Needle Disposal Sites to locate a convenient site where medications can be disposed of free of charge with no questions asked.
Create a safer and healthier Erie County by properly disposing of used needles, syringes, lancets and medications.