LAKE PLACID - The Drug Enforcement Administration, in partnership with the Lake Placid Police Department, will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28.
This free and anonymous service is provided as part of the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. According to the New York State Police, 10 deaths from accidental overdose of prescription drugs have occurred in the last two years in this precinct.
"By simply tossing your outdated or unused drugs in a bag and dropping it into the box at the Town Hall, the danger of your children or your children's acquaintances getting hold of your medications and misusing them selling them or taking them to parties to consume is removed," said Angel Marvin, coordinator of the Lake Placid/Wilmington Connecting Youth & Communities Coalition. "Prescription drugs should be treated like a loaded gun: either locked up or removed from the home."
Last October almost 100 pounds of prescription drugs were collected in Essex County as part of a nationwide effort that saw Americans turn in 377,086 pounds-188.5 tons-of prescription drugs at 5,327 sites operated by the DEA with more than 3,945 state and local law enforcement partners, according to a press release. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high. More Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Inappropriate disposal of prescription and over the counter drugs in landfills and down toilets is also detrimental to local waterways, according to Corrie Miller, director of the AuSable River Association,
"When you flush human or veterinarian drugs, they don't just go away; they show up in our streams and rivers. Trace pharmaceuticals, particularly those that mimic hormones, can decrease aquatic organisms' reproductive rates, delay their development, and cause some species to develop extra appendages," she said in the release. In a 2001 survey of streams in 30 states, 80 percent were found to have contamination from drugs.
"The Lake Placid Police Department is happy to partner in this effort," said Lake Placid Police Chief William Moore. "Abuse of prescription drugs is a pervasive problem. We have had success with previous Take Back Days and hope to do even better on the 28th.
Access to the Take Back Day will be through the side door of the North Elba Town Hall as the front offices are closed on Saturday.
For up-to-date information on participating sites, Essex County residents can visit www.dea.gov, click on the "Got Drugs?," and follow the links to a database to enter zip code or county.
For more information on the Lake Placid site, contact Angel Marvin at 518-637-7354 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.