Croton residents now have an easy way to dispose of unneeded prescription drugs—at the village police station.
The Prescription Drop-Off Box, a collaborative project of the village Police Department, the Croton Community Coalition and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, is located right inside the police department's front door on the west end of Village Hall.
It's a natural move for the department, which has participated in the DEA's past two National Prescription Drug Take Back Days. Between last month and last spring, residents dropped off more than 350 pounds of unneeded prescription drugs to a stand set up at the Croton Commons Shopping Plaza and manned by officers and volunteers, said police Chief Anthony Tramaglini.
As drug prescriptions increase in the USA, keeping pills out of the hands of drug abusers—teen-agers are among the largest abusers of prescription drugs, according to the DEA—is a priority. Also important are creating legal ways to dispose of unwanted, expired or unneeded patches and pills.
According to the DEA website,
"Four days after DEA’s first Take Back event two years ago, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances."
Det. Sgt. John Nikotopolis said residents can just come by and drop pill bottles in the secure unit, which resembles a mailbox—there's no sign-up sheet or tracking. The Drop-Off Box should also help prevent prescription drugs getting into the water system or the trash, he said.
Until recently, consumers were told to flush unwanted drugs. But the result of that has been pollution and poison in the water supply and in wildlife, according to the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation.