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Suffolk police hold prescription drug amnesty Saturday

The Suffolk County Police Department is holding its first-ever prescription drug drop-off at all its precincts this Saturday.

Called "Operation Medicine Cabinet," it allows residents to dispose of expired and unused prescription pills, from opiates to antibiotics, in an environmentally safe way.

The program is free, and those who bring the drugs do not have to sign any forms or identify themselves in any way.

Misuse of prescription opiates - such as Vicodin or OxyContin - leads to addiction, and has led to an increase in heroin use, according to substance abuse experts.

"Quite often, family members receive a legal and valid prescription, some of it goes unused and it remains in the medicine cabinet," Lt. Bob Donohue. "Unfortunately, teenagers experiment with these drugs, occasionally get hooked, and that in turn can lead to heroin."

Since the heroin epidemic surfaced in the past few years, especially among teens, other government agencies have also been holding drug drop-offs.

The The Nassau police department hosted a drop-off program at its precincts in September. Another one held by the Town of North Hempstead in June collected more than 400 pounds of drugs.

Other towns and school districts have followed suit. Kings Park High School plans to hold a drug drop-off on March 25.

The Suffolk event is for prescription pills only - no liquids or needles.

The drop-offs are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the police department's seven precincts: First Precinct at 555 Rte. 109 in West Babylon, Second Precinct at 1071 Park Ave. in Huntington, Third Precinct at 1630 Fifth Ave. in Bay Shore, Fourth Precinct at 345 Old Willets Path in Smithtown, Fifth Precinct at 125 Waverly Ave. in Patchogue, Sixth Precinct at 400 Route 25 in Selden and Seventh Precinct at 1491 William Floyd Pkwy in Shirley.

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