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April 2013 Column - Prescription Drug Take-Back Day offers opportunity to dispose of medications properly


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On Saturday, April 27, the annual Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be held and is expected to collect more than 245 tons of materials. Part of a national effort, this local take-back program ensures the materials are disposed of properly which is extremely important on several levels.




By removing unwanted or expired drugs from homes, it eliminates the possibility of them falling into the wrong hands. That could mean an adult who is dealing with addiction or prescription drug abuse, or a child who may mistake the drugs for candy. Either way, the affects can be serious, even deadly. It is best to remove these items and take away the risk.




According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), “more than 6 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.”




In addition, drugs that are dropped off at one of the several collection sites are not put into our waterways. When someone flushes pills or liquid medications down the toilet they may not consider the harm they are causing. Studies have shown found traces of drugs, such as antibiotics, hormones, contraceptives and steroids in 80 percent of the rivers and streams tested. Not only does that adversely affect humans, but fish and other aquatic wildlife also suffer.  To learn more, visit




Drop-off sites are operated under the supervision of law enforcement personnel and materials are properly disposed of, greatly decreasing their impact on our environment and community.




If you have unwanted or expired medications, please check the Drug Enforcement Administration’s website at for a complete list of donation sites.




In and around the district I represent, the following sites will be available:


  • West Seneca Police Department will be collecting donations at the West Seneca Senior Center,  4620 Seneca St., West Seneca
  • Orchard Park Police Department will be collecting donations at the Mercy Ambulatory Center, located at  3669 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park
  • Cheektowaga Police Department will be collecting donations at St. Joseph's Hospital,      2605 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga
  • Buffalo Police Department will be collecting donations at the Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo
  • Erie County Sheriff's Office will be collecting donations at the Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, 224 E. Main St., Springville



Materials will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27. The drop-off event is designed to to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible option to dispose of prescription or over-the-counter medications. The event also raises awareness about the dangers associated with keeping these items in the home or improperly disposing of them.




If you have any questions, please contact my Legislative Office at 858-8922 or email