Modified: June 25, 2018 1:00pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date: June 25, 2018
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
Town of Amherst Adds Drug Drop-off Kiosk
Unwanted Drugs Can Be Dropped Off 24/7
ERIE COUNTY, NY—The Amherst Police Department, in partnership with the Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) has added a secure drop-off kiosk for both drugs and ‘sharps’ (needles, lancets, syringes), at the Police Department headquarters at 500 John James Audubon Parkway. This will be the 37th drug drop-off kiosk managed by ECDOH.
The kiosk will be available every day, 24 hours a day making it convenient for Amherst residents to safely dispose of unwanted medications and sharps. Both prescription and over the counter drugs, pills and other solids, like patches, as well as liquids, are accepted for environmentally safe disposal.
“Unused medication in the home is a public health and safety risk. These medications can be accidentally ingested if mistaken for another drug, misused by other family members or visitors to your house and possibly make your home a target for theft,” said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “I commend the Town of Amherst for the addition of the kiosk in a convenient and well known location.”
“This addition to the current 36 Community Disposal Kiosk Sites throughout Erie County is another tool in our ongoing efforts of to fight the opioid epidemic,” said County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “On average, we dispose of over 1 ton (or 2,000 pounds) of unwanted drugs each month from these kiosks. This helps reduce the risk posed by unwanted and expired medications falling into the wrong hands.”
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the majority of prescription drug abusers get their drugs from friends and family, often taking them from home medicine cabinets without asking. “Properly disposing of prescription medication can reduce the number of people who misuse, abuse or overdose from these powerful drugs,” said Chief John C. Askey. “Placing a drug collection kiosk in our headquarters facilitates access to disposal options and is one way we can help protect the community we serve.”
Unwanted or expired medications can be especially dangerous for children. It is estimated that the percentage of child poisoning deaths due to medications has nearly doubled since the 1970s, from 36%to 64%. Improper disposal of medications can also negatively impact the environment when flushed down the toilet or put in a landfill.
“With the drug epidemic in WNY and beyond, it is critical that we keep our residents safe, keep drugs and paraphernalia out of reach, and help prevent addiction by taking unused drugs and related items out of homes and off the streets. We also want to give residents an opportunity to protect our water supply by preventing flushing of unused drugs,” said Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa. “This collection box is a great way for our residents to properly dispose of unused drugs, needles and syringes; this will, undoubtedly, protect themselves, their families, and our community.”
For a complete list of all the drug disposal kiosks in Erie County, along with separate kiosks that accept “sharps” (needles and lancets), visit the www.thepointny.org or the ECDOH website for the Expanded Syringe Access Program (“ESAP”).
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