North Shore-LIJ Partners with DEA in First-Ever Nationwide Prescription Drug Take-Back Day
GREAT NECK, N.Y., Sept. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The North Shore-LIJ Health System is partnering with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other government, community, public health and law enforcement organizations in a nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft.
In conjunction with the DEA, North Shore-LIJ is collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at its 14 hospitals on Long Island and in New York City, on Saturday, September 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the US are increasing at alarming rates, 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 home medicine cabinets. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
“Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing problem in our society and is often the first step in leading to experimentation and abuse of illegal drugs among adolescents and adults,” said Michael Dowling, president and chief executive officer of the North Shore-LIJ Health System. “Last year alone, 250 children died in Nassau and Suffolk from heroin overdose. Methamphetamine, one of the most lethal and addictive drugs, is present in every school district on Long Island and throughout New York. By offering our hospitals as locations for the safe removal and disposal of unused medicines and prescription drugs from the home, we are not only addressing a vital public safety and health issue but also eliminating what many experts believe is the first step in the cycle of abuse.”
Michele M. Leonhart, acting administrator of the DEA said, “The first-ever National Prescription Drug Take-Back campaign will provide a safe way for Americans to dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs. This effort symbolizes DEA’s commitment to halting the disturbing rise in addiction caused by their misuse and abuse. Working together with our state and local partners, the medical community, anti-drug coalitions, and a concerned public, we will eliminate a major source of abused prescription drugs, and reduce the hazard they pose to our families and communities in a safe, legal, and environmentally sound way.”
On September 25, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., individuals can bring their unused prescription drugs for safe disposal to the following North Shore-LIJ Health System hospital collection sites.
Suffolk Hospitals: Huntington Hospital and Southside Hospital (Bay Shore)
Nassau Hospitals: Plainview, Syosset and Glen Cove, Franklin Hospital in Valley Stream, North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, and LIJ Medical Center (including – LIJ Hospital, The Zucker Hillside, Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York) in New Hyde Park.
New York City Hospitals: Forest Hills Hospital, Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan, and Staten Island University (North and South campuses) Hospital.
For more information on North Shore- LIJ collection locations call (516) 465 -2535 or visit www.northshorelij.com. Additional collection sites can also be found by going to www.dea.gov. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations. Other participants in this initiative include the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the Federation of State Medical Boards; and the National District Attorneys Association.
SOURCE North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System