National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, September 29 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

State Agencies Urge New Yorkers to Safely Dispose of Expired or Unused Prescription Drugs at Local Collection Sites

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 27, 2012) – The State Department of Health (DOH), Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS), New York State Police, and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourage New Yorkers to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, September 29. The event provides an opportunity for people to safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs at local community drop-off sites.

The event is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Approximately 250 drop-off sites in communities across New York State will be open from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to accept prescription drugs for disposal. The following link will help New Yorkers find a location in their area:

The Department of Health has established a permanent medication drop box program through state, county and local law enforcement agencies. The program will expand the options currently available for households to dispose of expired or unwanted medications in a manner that considers public health, as well as the environment. DOH drop box locations can be viewed here:

In August, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the placement of drop boxes at nine New York State Police Troop Headquarters. The boxes, which are available year around, are secure, open to the public and allow New Yorkers across the state to anonymously dispose of unused prescription medications and controlled substances. The drop box locations can be found at:

Prescription drugs that have expired or are no longer being used can present potential health risks, especially if children can access these drugs. More than 50 percent of adolescent- misused prescription medications originate from the home. Removing these drugs from the home can help prevent pill misuse and reduce the risk of theft. Improper disposal of these drugs, such as flushing them, can cause environmental contamination.

Last year, more than 188 tons of prescription drugs were brought to more than 5,000 take back disposal sites across the country.

In partnership, DOH, OASAS, the New York State Police and DEC are working together to raise awareness about prescription drug misuse. Individuals can get help by calling the OASAS toll-free, 24-hour, 7-day a week HOPEline at 1-877-8-HOPENY. The HOPEline is staffed by trained clinicians who are ready to answer questions, help refer individuals to treatment services and provide other vital resources to facilitate recovery. All calls are anonymous and confidential.