Islip, NY - November 25, 2013 - On Saturday, December 7th, Legislator-Elect Bill Lindsay III, the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office, the Community Ambulance Company, the South Shore Community Organization and the YES Prevention Program in the Town of Islip are co-sponsoring a "Shed-the-Meds" program to assist residents in proper disposal of their expired or unused medications. This event will take place at the Community Ambulance Company’s department located at 146 Railroad Avenue in Sayville from 10AM-1PM.
“I’m pleased to join with Legislator-Elect Bill Lindsay, the South Shore Community Organization, and the Community Ambulance Company for Shed the Meds Day,” said Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco. In addition to unused medications, Deputy Sheriffs will be in attendance to accept used hypodermic needles, and provide parents with free home drug testing kits.
The members of the Community Ambulance Company have seen the effects of overdoses and accidental poisonings by prescription medications firsthand. Now, they are spearheadeding programs, like Shed the Meds, in an effort to curb the drug problem in our local communities. In 2012, the Company responded to over 160 overdose calls, with 138 of those calls being local to Bayport, Bohemia, Oakdale, Sayville, and West Sayville.
"Unfortunately our volunteers see the horrible end results of drug abuse in the overdose patients we transport to the hospital,” said Community Ambulance Company Chief Jamie Atkinson. “We hope that the Shed the Meds initiative will decrease the amount of drugs available that have the potential to fall into the wrong hands,”
Non-medical use of prescription and over-the-counter medicines remains a significant part of the drug problem here on Long Island. Prescription and over-the-counter medications account for most of the commonly abused drugs by the nation's youth. According to data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, over 50 percent of people who abuse prescription drugs for nonmedical reasons obtained them from friends or relatives with permission and for free. Unwanted or expired medications left in the home could increase opportunities for drug abuse, drug diversion, and accidental poisonings.
“It’s truly a testament to the Community Ambulance Company and all of our community groups, who have consistently come together to keep our streets clean and our neighborhoods safe," said Legislator-Elect Bill Lindsay. “The drug problem on Long Island and in our local communities has become dramatically more apparent and with programs such as Shed the Meds we will be able to keep drugs out of the hands of those who abuse them and decrease the negative environmental and public health impacts that the improper disposal of prescription medications have on our community,”
Shed the Meds will allow residents, throughout Suffolk County, the opportunity to safely dispose of unwanted and unused medications and prescription drugs. Members of the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department will be available to assist and answer any questions residents may have. In addition, the South Shore Community Organization and the YES Prevention Program in the Town of Islip will provide drug prevention education pamphlets to those in attendance.