This past Saturday, April 24, was the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) first National Prescription Drug Take Back of 2021. Like so many communities across the country, Allegany County had two locations at the Andover Volunteer Ambulance Corp and Friendship Fire Department where community members could drop off unwanted or unused medications.
The pill drop events have been taking place in Allegany County since 2008. This has been a partnership between the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Inc. (ACASA), and Partners for Prevention in Allegany County (PPAC). “These events are an outlet for community members to get rid of old or unused medications in a safe manner and allows us the opportunity to educate them on resources available to them all year long,” said Coalition Coordinator Jon Chaffee. “We really want the community to practice Safe Use, Safe Storage, and Safe Disposal,” says Chaffee.
This year, 35 cars participated, for a total of 197.2 pounds of medications brought in by community members. “The Sheriff’s Office is happy to partner with PPAC for this important event as it gives our community an opportunity to help prevent drug addiction and overdoses, and to help protect the environment,” said Sheriff Rick Whitney. While community members were able to get rid of medications, they also received a Take It to the Box magnet that lists all the locations throughout the county. Community members are encouraged to not hold on to old medications and properly dispose of unwanted or unused medications, as family members are the most likely source for young people to get medications to abuse.
If community members were unable to participate in the Spring Pill Drop, Allegany County has ten Take It to the Box locations throughout the county at: Alfred Pharmacy, Alfred State University Police, the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office and Nicholson Pharmacy in Belmont, Cuba Police Department, Friendship Pharmacy, Fillmore Pharmacy, Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville, Jones Memorial Medical Practice in Bolivar, and Wellsville Police Department. In 2021, 685 pounds of medications have been collected at the Take It to the Box locations by the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office. For more information on local pill drop boxes visit Take It to the Box.
For any community members who need to dispose of needles, they can go to any transfer station in Allegany County, as they have disposal boxes that are free to use and are available all year. To properly dispose of needles at a transfer station, please put all needles/sharps into a puncture proof container with a securable lid, such as a laundry detergent bottle. Community members can drop the whole bottle into the drop box at any Allegany County transfer station. To protect people from accidental pokes by needles, please make sure the lid is secure on the bottle and do not put loose needles inside the boxes. For more information on properly disposing of needles/sharps locally visit the Sharps Take It to the Box.
The group would like to also thank the Andover Police Department and Volunteer Ambulance Corp, Friendship Fire Department and all the community members who participated to make the Take Back Day a successful one. For more information on pill drops or PPAC please visit www.ppaccentral.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram @ppac_central, or Twitter @PPACcentral.