New York State Department of Health Encourages New Yorkers to Participate In National Prescription Drug Take-back Day

New Yorkers are Encouraged to Safely Dispose of Expired or Unused Prescription Drugs at Local Collection Sites

ALBANY, N.Y. (September 26, 2014) - The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has announced that New York will once again participate in National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event provides an opportunity for people to safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs at hundreds of local community drop-off sites throughout the state.

"Prescription drugs can provide benefits to those who need them. But when they're no longer needed, they should be properly disposed of to help prevent prescription drug abuse," said acting New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. "Drug take-back programs like this can make homes and communities safer and healthier."

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, sponsored by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), seeks to address the alarmingly high levels of prescription drug abuse across the nation. Studies have shown that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family, friends and the home medicine cabinet. In fact, more than 50 percent of adolescent misused prescription medications originate from home.

Alternative methods for disposing of unused medicines such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can produce safety and health hazards. Take-back initiatives are the best way to dispose of drugs. During the last event in April, Americans turned in more than 780,000 pounds of prescription drugs at nearly 10,500 DEA- and law enforcement-operated sites nationally.

For more information about National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day or to find a site in your community, visit:

Additionally, DOH has established a permanent medication drop box program through state, county and local law enforcement agencies. The program has expanded options available for households to safely dispose of expired or unwanted medications. DOH drop box locations can be viewed here: