“Helping to Keep Prescription Pills off Our Streets and Out of the Hands of Our Children”
Bolivar and Wellsville – On Saturday, April 28 the Allegany County Spring Pill Drop was held in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. This year the two selected locations were Bolivar and Wellsville. The pill drop event allows the community to drop off unused, expired or unwanted medications and provides the opportunity for education on the location of the pill drop boxes. Both locations have established pill drop boxes that are open to the public year-round. In Bolivar there is a drop box located at Jones Memorial Family Practice, 120 First Street. In Wellsville there are two locations at Jones Memorial Hospital, 191 North Main Street and the Wellsville Police Department, 46 South Main Street.
This event was held in partnership among the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.(ACASA), the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the Bolivar Police Department, and Partners for Prevention in Allegany County(PPAC). Medications were accepted from 10am to 2pm, and between the two locations, a total of 42 cars stopped and 78 pounds of medication were collected. “The Bi-annual Pill Drops and the several community Pill Box locations provide members of our community an appropriate place to dispose of unwanted medications. It is really important to keep controlled medications out of the hands of people who will abuse them,” states Bill Penman, Executive Director of ACASA.
In the future there will be three more drop boxes located at the Alfred Pharmacy, Friendship Pharmacy and Nicholson’s Pharmacy in Belmont. All three locations have been awarded a drop box from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), but they have not yet been installed.
The pill drop events and boxes are completely anonymous and confidential. Once the Sheriff’s Office has collected the medications they are transported to an undisclosed location for incineration. Incinerating the medications makes them harmless to the environment. “We offer the pill drop events and boxes, to discourage people from holding on to old medications or flushing them down the toilet,” states PPAC Coordinator Jonathan Chaffee. “We know that most young people who abuse prescription medications get them from unsuspecting family members and flushing medications down the toilet allows them to find their way into our drinking water, creeks and rivers,” states Chaffee.
According to Sheriff Whitney, “Saturday we collected over 1,200 controlled pills at the two locations, which could potentially be sold on the street for $12,000.00 to $25,000.00, depending on the substance involved. Since the inception of the pill drops we have collected and destroyed well over a million dollars of these dangerous drugs. By collecting and destroying these substances, we greatly reduce the amount available to find their way onto our streets and into the hands of our youth.”
The agencies involved would like to send out a special “Thank You” to local pharmacists Christie Fries and LeRoy Hanchett for volunteering their time to help at the pill drop locations. The next pill drop event will be in October, 2018 in Cuba and Canaseraga, locations to be determined. More information about the pill drop events and locations can be found at https://ppaccentral.org/pill-drop-locations/.