The Ticonderoga Community Coalition will partner with the town and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to host a “Take Back” event at the Ticonderoga Police Department on Saturday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Essex County Sheriff’s Department will also host “Take Back” events that day at the Schroon town hall and the public safety building in Lewis.
Area residents will have an opportunity to properly dispose of unused prescription drugs as part of a county-wide “Take Back” initiative.
The Ticonderoga Community Coalition will partner with the town and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to host a “Take Back” event at the Ticonderoga Police Department on Saturday, Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Essex County Sheriff’s Department will also host “Take Back” events that day at the Schroon town hall and the public safety building in Lewis.
“This initiative is a component of the coalition’s Neighborhood Action Campaign to deal with the impacts of prescription drug misuse and abuse in the Ticonderoga community,” Ti Police Chief Mark Johns said. “The ‘Take Back’ day gives the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. “
Essex County residents turned in almost 100 pounds of prescription drugs for disposal at a “Take-Back” event last spring, Johns said. The service is free and anonymous, he stressed. There are no questions asked.
Ticonderoga Supervisor Deb Malaney led the development of the community coalition to respond to the growing threat of substance abuse problems in the town.
“In Ticonderoga we have a history of rising to challenges that impact the well-being of our community,” Malaney said. “As well as contributing to our town law enforcement expenses, this problem (drug abuse) seriously affects the quality of life and the health and safety of all of our residents. Our research and feedback from the community has shown prescription drug misuse and abuse a serious problem. Sponsorship of this ‘Take Back’ day is just one step we are taking to reduce the availability of dangerous drugs on the street.”
The Ticonderoga Community Coalition includes concerned citizens, local government, schools, churches, law enforcement, business, health, treatment and prevention agencies, parents, grandparents and foster parents, the media, service clubs, youth and youth-serving organizations.
Drug abuse is a major problem in Ticonderoga, Johns said.
“Over 40 percent of the arrests by Ticonderoga police can be attributed to an underlying substance abuse problem,” he said. “The ‘Take Back’ day last April was a great success with a large quantity of prescription drugs turned in. I encourage residents to turn in their medications so that there will be fewer drugs available in the community that can be stolen and used illegally.
“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” Johns said. “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.”
The New York State Police provide at 24/7 prescription drug drop box at its headquarters in Ray Brook.