The 10th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will take place on Saturday at locations throughout Long Island.
Prescription drug drop-off sites will be set up across the United States -- with the exception of Pennsylvania and Delaware, which held the event earlier this month -- so that residents can hand over unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal.
There are nine collection sites in Nassau County and 14 sites in Suffolk County. In Nassau, Adelphi will host the event, with collection taking place in the lobby of the University Center. Other locations in Nassau are the police departments in Malverne, Freeport, Port Washington, Sands Point, Rockville Centre, Kings Point and Garden City, as well as the state police department at Republic Airport in East Farmingdale.
In Suffolk, the Tanner Park Senior Center in Copiague will be a drop-off site, as will all seven police precincts, the Southampton Village, Riverhead and Northport police departments. The state police in Riverhead and the Setauket Fire Department will also collect prescription drugs. In addition, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration will be collecting prescription drugs at the Northport VA Medical Center police department.
According to the DEA's Office of Diversion Control, the event aims to "provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications."
Holding on to prescription medicine can result in their theft and abuse while improper disposal of the drugs leads to contamination of the water supply, experts say.
According to the agency, last year 617,150 pounds, or 309 tons, of prescription drugs were collected at 5,495 sites nationwide. Since the initiative began four years ago, sites have collected 4,823,251 pounds, or 2,411 tons, of drugs.
All collections in Nassau and Suffolk will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the exception of the Tanner Park site, which will be from 9 a.m. to noon and will include remarks at 11 a.m. by state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer.
For more information, go to www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html