Police agencies Saturday across Greene and Columbia counties will be participating in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Nationwide Drug Take Back Day.

The event happens twice yearly, in April and October.

Unused or expired prescription medications can be disposed of safely at several locations.

In Greene County, you can drop off old and unwanted prescriptions at the Greene County Sheriff’s Office at 45 Haverly Memorial Drive, Hannaford Supermarket on Main Street in Cairo, hosted by Town of Cairo Police, said Sgt. Rick Bush, Coxsackie Police Department at 119 Mansion St., and Windham Police Department, 317 Route 296 in Hensonville.

In Columbia County, drop off locations are at the Hudson Police Department on Union Street, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office on Industrial Tract in Greenport, and the Chatham Police Department at Tracy Hall on Main Street.

Medications will be collected at all locations between 10 a.m., and 2 p.m.

“These outdated medications are a public safety issue. It can lead to misuse, overdoses, poisoning, and it’s an environmental issue as well,” said Hudson police chief L. Edward Moore.

According to a recent national survey on drug use and health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants, and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers or sedatives. The survey also showed that a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet, according to the DEA website.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to dispose of their unneeded or old medications, so it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands,” said Greene County Sheriff, Pete Kusminsky.

During prescription drug take back day in april, 420 tons of prescriptions were collected across the country.

The medications are disposed of safely, after they are collected, they are brought to a site where they are incinerated, Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett said.

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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