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A permanent prescription drug drop box sponsored by the Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) and the has been installed at the police headquarters for residents to safely dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medicine – both for prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
"Prescription drug abuse is increasing at alarming rates, especially for young adults," said Lisa Tomeny, executive director of Alliance for Safe Kids. "The numbers speak for themselves."
- Prescription drug abuse results in one death every 19 minutes in the US - according to the Center for Disease Control which has classified it as an "epidemic."
- 2.4 million Americans abused prescription drugs for the first time in 2011—one-third of those Americans were teenagers.
- 70 percent of users get the drugs from relatives or friends
Teens are accessing these drugs in the comfort of home, Tomeny said, and it can be as easy as opening a cupboard, drawer or medicine cabinet.
The non-profit organization and the police department have been participating in the but they wanted to provide a safe and secure place where the community could go at any time to dispose of prescription drugs and not have to wait for months or for a particular day.
"The drop box provides an anonymous, easy and environmentally safe way to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs that are currently in the home," Tomeny said.
Samantha Greene, a student, has joined Alliance for Safe Kids in the effort to raise awareness and inform peers and adults of the danger of prescription drug misuse.
As part of her Girl Scout Gold Award project, Greene will undertake a number of initiatives that will provide information, dispel myths and offer steps that all members of the community can take to prevent prescription drug misuse.
"The reason I chose this project was because I noticed the increasing number of teen deaths due to prescription drug abuse in the news and I wondered why there wasn't much advocacy for it," the high school student said. "I knew this was an issue that needed to be brought to attention to the community and this project sounded like the perfect way to do it."
Her project will feature a video that she hopes will be used in conjunction with school health curriculum as a peer-to-peer approach in providing essential information to teens.
The prescription drug drop box is available at all times. It is anonymous and users will not have to disclose any information when using it. No liquids, needles or syringes are accepted at this time. The box is emptied at regular intervals and the contents are safely incinerated under the supervision of the Yorktown Police Department.
The Alliance for Safe Kids is a Yorktown non-profit organization founded in 2002 and incorporated in 2006 as a charitable organization. For more information, visit their website at www.AllianceforSafeKids.org.
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