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Bins for unwanted prescription drugs coming to Nassau

Prescription painkillers

Prescription painkillers "are not a panacea," said Dr. Lynn Webster of the American Academy of Pain Medicine. "But some patients respond very well and we need to have these medications available." Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

Nassau County residents will soon be able to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs at new disposal bins placed in each police precinct, said County Executive Edward Mangano.

The permanent bins will allow residents to get rid of unused or expired medications anonymously.

Mangano said, “We urge all residents to take advantage of this opportunity to rid their home medicine cabinets of these unused, unwanted and expired medications.”

Drugs left in medicine cabinets are susceptible to being misused or abused — helping to fuel a prescription painkiller abuse epidemic. The bins provide a safer alternative to flushing them down a toilet or throwing them in the trash.

Accepted items include prescription patches, over-the-counter medications, vitamins and pet medications.

The county sponsored several drug disposal programs last year with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.