Somers, NY – Last year, there were over 72,000 overdoses throughout the U.S. Of that astounding number, more than 4,000 overdoses occurred in New York, virtually in our own backyards.
As a member of the New York State Senate Opioid and Drug Task Force, Senator Terrence Murphy saw firsthand the devastating effects drug abuse can have on families and communities. To stop the flow of harmful drugs into the Hudson Valley and keep them out of the hands of addicts, Senator Murphy implemented “Shed the Meds,” an effective solution to help residents dispose of their outdated prescription drugs. On August 28, Senator Murphy partnered with Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, the Town of Somers, Somers Police Department, Drug Crisis in our Backyard, and Somers Partners in Prevention to host his “Shed the Meds” prescription drop-off program at the Somers Police Station.
“We have spent a great deal of time and effort to make sure our schools, police officers and first responders have the tools they need to combat the drug epidemic,” said Senator Murphy. “Shed the Meds is the next step; it’s an effective way for people to dispose of the dangerous drugs stored in their medicine cabinets. By bringing these drugs to our take-back event or by taking them to your local police station, you’re protecting families and the environment.”
“When talking about the heroin and opioid epidemic I often refer to the word ‘tree’ – treatment, recovery, education and enforcement,” said Assemblyman Kevin Byrne. “Shed the Meds is a perfect example of reaching out into the community to help get highly addictive drugs out of the home and keep them away from our drinking water. Disposing of these dangerous drugs can help save lives.”
Somers Town Supervisor Rick Morrissey stated, “I want to thank Sen Murphy for once again sponsoring Somers Shed the Meds with our own Partners in Prevention, and Drug Crisis in Our Backyard. Special thanks go to all those who made the effort to Shed the Meds by helping to build yet another barrier to prescription drug abuse.”
“The success of this program demonstrates the effectiveness of a grassroots effort,” commented Somers Councilman Anthony Cirieco. “By building partnerships between Senator Murphy, the Town Board, our police department, and community groups we are helping to get dangerous drugs off the street.”
Somers Police Chief Michael Driscoll said, “We are always grateful when Senator Murphy brings his program to Somers because it increases awareness of this serious problem plaguing our country. In addition to hosting Shed the Meds, the Somers Police Department maintains a prescription drug drop off container 24-7 at the Somers Police Department. We collect fifty pounds of drugs per month. That’s fifty pounds that won’t get into the wrong hands.”
“It is important to bring this type of awareness to the community,” noted Carol Christiansen, Cofounder & Director of Development for Drug Crisis in Our Backyard. “We thank the community for their continued support. We have worked together with Senator Murphy, the Town and the Somers Police Department for the past several years. Anything we can do through treatment or Shed the Meds can go a long way in decreasing the number of overdoses and deaths from prescription drugs.”
Marsha Berman, Somers Partners in Prevention, added, “Shed the Meds has been very effective in raising awareness about the dangers of keeping old prescriptions drugs around the house. Seniors and children run the risk of overdosing because they accidentally take expired medications.”
The next Shed the Meds event is Thursday, August 30 at the Pawling Town Hall, 160 Charles Colman Blvd. from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The final Shed the Meds prescription drop-off will be in Brewster at a date and time to be announced