SIUH Hosts Drug Take-Back Program


Rx drug 'Take Back' day at Staten Island University Hospital tomorrow

Published: Friday, October 28, 2011, 8:21 AM
Staten Island Advance

News photos -- Friday, Oct. 28, 2011
Dr. Theodore Strange, vice president for medical operations at Staten Island University Hospital, Assemblyman Michael Cusick, state Sen. Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Lou Tobacco held a press conference at the hospital's Prince's Bay campus to encourage Island residents to take part in the Drug Enforcement Administration's Take Back program tomorrow, which gives the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Are there old or unused prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet? Medications you don’t want to throw in the regular garbage?

Don’t worry, there’s a remedy for that.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Take Back program urges anyone who has such medications to bring them either to a Staten Island University Hospital campus — Ocean Breeze or Prince’s Bay — where they will be collected and sent for for proper disposal.

This latest edition of the DEA’s Take Back program will be held tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no charge and anonymity is guaranteed.

The program is designed to help the public fight prescription drug abuse by removing expired or potentially lethal prescription drugs from Island homes.

Prescription drug abuse is an escalating problem on Staten Island, which ranked second-highest in New York state’s 62 counties for the number of overdose deaths due to the medications.

Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island) urged Islanders to “please take advantage of this Saturday” by disposing of any old or unused prescription medications.

“Every two weeks, one of our neighbors dies of prescription drug overdose,” said state Sen. Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island), who added that “saying it’s an epidemic is an understatement.”

Cusick and Lanza are also working to push forward legislation that will increase communication between physicians and pharmacists, in hopes of preventing doctor-shopping and more prescription drug abuse.

Although legislative strides have been made to fight the epidemic, Assemblyman Lou Tobacco (R-South Shore) noted that “[We] cannot legislate common sense.” Parents must be active in keeping these drugs out of the hands of young people, he stressed.


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