Sayville, NY - December 7, 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 co-sponsored a "Shed-the-Meds" initiative that assisted residents in the successful disposal of over 60 pounds of expired or unused medications and over 30 hypodermic needles.
“When my father passed away, my mother and I were left with many of his prescriptions drugs and nowhere to safely get rid of them,” said Legislator-Elect Bill Lindsay III. “The efforts of these community groups to collect and properly dispose of prescription drugs was extremely helpful, not only for my family, but for all residents who hope to live in a safe and drug-free community.”
Non-medical use of prescription and over-the-counter medication remains a significant part of the drug problem here on Long Island. 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 is my hope that the success of this program will prevent medications from getting into the wrong hands and helps to reduce the number of overdoses within our communities,” said Community Ambulance Company Chief Jamie Atkinson. The Community Ambulance Company serves the communities of Bayport, Bohemia, Oakdale, Sayville and West Sayville. In 2012, they responded to over 160 overdose calls and have already responded to over 140 overdose calls this year.
Deputy Sheriffs were also in attendance to distribute home drug testing kits to parents and residents and properly transport the collection of prescription drugs to their incinerator. Medications brought to the Sheriff’s Office through programs such as “Shed the Meds” are incinerated on a monthly basis.
For more information on drug intervention and prevention programs please visit: http://www.yesnews.org
For more information about the Community Ambulance Company or information on how to become a member, please visit: www.communityamb.org.