BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Dozens of people are getting rid of unwanted prescription medication through National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. It’s one of the ways people are helping in the fight against the growing opioid epidemic.
Since it started, Erie county has collected and disposed of nearly 20-tons of medications.
Health officials in Western New York say prescriptions can be dropped off every day.
Bottle after bottle, buckets and boxes full of prescription drugs were all collected for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day’ held Saturday. The goal is to get unused and unwanted medications out of people’s homes and off the streets.
“Prescription drugs second to marijuana is the most abused drug in this country by young people,” said Captain Steve Nichols with the Buffalo Police Department.
“If you’re not taking them, you don’t need them,” said Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein.
It’s another way to help fight the growing opioid epidemic both nationwide and in Western New York.
So far this year, there have been 168 confirmed opioid related overdose deaths in Erie County, according to Dr. Burstein.
“Most people start the journey to addiction with taking a legitimate prescription of pain medication that were prescribed for them,” said Dr. Burstein.
Burstein says despite the numbers the community is coming together to fight the opioid crisis and making sure prescription drugs don’t end up in the wrong hands by cleaning out their medicine cabinets.
She says these drop off days are a major help.
“Every day can be a drop off day for Erie County residents,” said Dr. Burstein.
People can drop off their unused or expired medications at different county buildings as well as any of the Buffalo Police stations.
“It’s really important if they’re not using to get them to us and let us dispose of them properly,” said Capt. Nichols.
You can find a drop off location closest to you by clicking here.