Allegany County Participates in DEA National Take Back Day

Belmont and Cuba – This past Saturday, the Allegany Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, Inc.(ACASA), the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, Belmont and Cuba Police Departments, and Partners for Prevention in Allegany County (PPAC) held the biannual pill drop event in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Take Back Day. Community members can bring unwanted or unused medications, needles, and e-cigarettes that need to be disposed of properly with no questions asked. The agencies use the pill drops to educate the community on the fourteen Take It to the Box locations throughout Allegany County, that are used for disposal of medications year-round for free. The partners also educate about the availability to dispose of needles at any of the Allegany County transfer stations for free. Community members are asked to put needles into a puncture proof container such as a laundry detergent bottle with the cap tightly secured. Allegany County is one of the very few counties in New York that offers this no-cost service.

Belmont and Cuba locations were chosen for to be the Fall pill drop locations by members of PPAC’s Environmental Strategies committee. “The purpose of holding the pill drops is to offer community members the opportunity to dispose of their medications safely, but also educate them about other resources available to them,” states PPAC Coalition Coordinator Jon Chaffee. “It is important for people to not hold onto medications that they are no longer using because studies have shown that youth and adults who abuse medications usually get them from friends or family members without their knowledge,” states Chaffee.

Cuba Police Officer Kendra Waters and ACASA’s Director of Prevention Kim Strauser at the Cuba Pill Drop location.

This year 14 cars came to the two locations to drop off over ninety pounds of medications. Even though the pill drops do not collect as much medications as in the past the Take It to the Box locations have collected 774 pounds from May to October of 2023. Everyone who stops at the pill drops are educated about the local Take It to the Box locations nearest to them. Medication drop boxes can be found in Belmont at Nicholson Pharmacy and the Allegany County Sheriff’s Office, and in Cuba at the Cuba Pharmacy and Cuba Police Department.  All medications that are collected are taken to an incinerating location by the Sheriff’s Office in order to make the medications harmless to the environment and useless to people.

The next pill drop event will be held April of 2024. To find out where all the Take It to the Box locations are located throughout Allegany County visit To find out where community members can dispose of needles or sharps properly visit .

Remember Prevention Works!