WHITE PLAINS, NY -- Residents throughout Westchester now can conveniently and safely dispose of their unused medications in a secure dropbox, accessible day or night in nearly every municipality.
The county’s newest dropbox is in New Rochelle, in the lobby at police headquarters, at 475 North Ave. Recently delivered by Westchester County, it was one of 12 purchased last year through an $8,000 grant secured by Sen. Terrence P. Murphy in response to the growing opioid addiction crisis.
“People often ask, ‘what can I do to help in this opioid crisis’?” Astorino said. “The best way to keep prescriptions drugs out of reach is to properly dispose of them. All too often, addiction starts with the medicine cabinet and ends in tragedy.”
Unused and expired medicine can be brought to a dropbox anonymously, and in most cases, around the clock. The medications are later incinerated, which keeps dangerous drugs away from people who might abuse them. Proper disposal also keeps medication out of our waters, which protects aquatic life and the environment.
“This dropbox provides our residents with a safe and convenient method of disposing of their unused medications,” said New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. “There is no better place for it than our police headquarters, which serves the community 24/7.”
In addition to having a dropbox in almost every police department, other locations include the Michaelean Office Building, CircleRx Pharmacy on Gramatan Avenue in Mount Vernon and Walgreens Pharmacy on Nepperhan Avenue in Yonkers. This coincides with a national movement to highlight the dangers of prescription drugs and opioids.
“We must attack this national health crisis from every front,” said Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, “and raising awareness about the importance of safe disposal and making it more convenient for residents will help.”
When it began in 2008, Westchester County’s Take Back the Medication program was the first of its kind in New York State. It has since grown, and been replicated, and continues to be available at the Household Material Recovery Facility, 15 Woods Road, Valhalla, where residents also can bring unused medication by appointment.
When delivering medications to the H-MRF, keep all items in the original container or, if unavailable, put them in a sealable plastic bag. Liquid medications should be in their containers in sealable plastic bags. County staff will be on hand to accept expired and unused medications for disposal.
Earlier this year, the County Executive launched Project WORTHY -- Westchester Opioid Response Teams Helping You to battle the growing problem of opioid addiction and a 200 percent spike in deaths in Westchester from 2010 through 2015. An extension of the county’s Safer Communities initiative, Project WORTHY builds comprehensive and practical solutions to difficult problems by integrating expertise and resources from across the county. More than 400 Westchester students gathered in October as part of Project WORTHY’s Youth Summit at the Westchester County Center where keynote speaker and Olympic coach Tony Hoffman warned students about how prescription drugs found in a medicine cabinet led him down a near deadly path of addiction, crime and prison, before he started his journey to recovery.
To learn where and when to drop off medications near you, refer to the Drug Disposal page on the county website or call the Recycling HelpLine at (914) 813-5425.