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National Drug Take Back Day

Written By: Tanja Rekhi
National Drug Take Back Day

SOUTHERN TIER (WENY) -- 105 people die from drug overdose every day in America. Close to 7 million currently abuse prescription drugs. That's according to the national survey on drug use and health.
     Now, Law enforcement in the Twin Tiers is trying to bring those numbers down. Local agencies are participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take Back day this Saturday.
     Last year in Chemung County alone, over 1,400 pounds of drugs came in.
     "These are the ones that normally only come through a prescription," said Chemung County Undersheriff William Schrom. "It's obviously sent to a particular individual, so now other people have easier access to obtain that prescription to either use it themselves or sell it to other people."
     And when it's not prescribed to you, you may not know the side effects. Authorities in counties with elderly populations are finding unused prescription drugs are sometimes simply sitting in medicine cabinets.
     "Some of our older citizens that live alone hire folks to come in and clean or care for them that are not from an established agency are often vulnerable to thefts," said Steuben County Undersheriff Jim Allard.
     If you have unused or unwanted prescription drugs, you can keep them from getting into the wrong hands, and dispose of them safely - no questions asked.
      "We have a secure location right out side of our office," explained Brittney Crane of TCAASA in Owego. "You just pull up with your car, hand us your medication, and we put them in our secure drop boxes that are given to us by the local DEA."
     Officials say you shouldn't dispose of unwanted medications by flushing them down the toilet, or throwing them in the garbage.
      To find the closest drop-off location near you, click on this link: http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html