45 residents participate
By Michael Turton
A recent event held in Cold Spring helped combat the drug problem by addressing it at one of the most basic sources of abuse — the bathroom medicine cabinet found in almost every home.
Drug Take Back Day enabled residents to properly dispose of unwanted or partially used prescription medication, over-the-counter medication, and pet medication. It took three garbage bags to haul away the 120 pounds of medication brought in by the 45 local residents who participated.
The event was held at the American Legion George A. Casey Post on Cedar Street on Saturday (Sept. 20) and sponsored by the Putnam County Communities that Care Coalition, the Putnam County Health Department and Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.
“Last year the focus was on keeping medications out of the water system,” Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra said, noting that health officials strongly advise against disposing of medication via sinks and toilets in the home. “Now, with the drug crisis, it’s about keeping those drugs out of the home.” Scuccimarra helped arrange free transportation for local senior citizens using a van provided by the Office of Senior Resources.
According to a press release issued by the Putnam County Communities that Care Coalition, the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that prescription medicines comprise the second-most common form of drug abuse by Americans. The survey also found that 70 percent of those who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives. In addition, a study by Partnership for a Drug Free America found that one in nine children abuses prescription pain relievers.
The next medication take-back event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 1, at the Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel. For more information, contact Mary Rice at the Putnam County Health Department at 845-808-1390, ext. 43164.
Photo by M. Turton