Catholic Health taking back unwanted medications on April 28

Wed, Apr 18th 2018 04:00 pm

As part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) 15th annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Catholic Health is joining forces with local law enforcement to help get unused and unwanted drugs out of people's homes.  In addition to prescription and over-the-counter medications, syringes and needles will also be accepted at the Catholic Health sites.  The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

The following Catholic Health sites will be participating in the drive-through prescription drop off event:

·       Kenmore Mercy Hospital - 2950 Elmwood Ave., Kenmore, NY

·       Mercy Ambulatory Care Center - 3669 Southwestern Blvd., Orchard Park, NY

·       Mount St. Mary's Hospital - 5300 Military Road, Lewiston, NY

·       Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus - 2605 Harlem Road, Cheektowaga, NY

"Cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and bedside tables reduces accidents and thefts, and prevents the misuse or abuse of medications," said James Bartlett, lead pharmacist at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

By participating in the annual DEA take back program, Catholic Health is helping get drugs off the streets and out of homes.  Prescription drugs are a common cause of accidental poisonings in children and should be appropriately discarded when no longer needed. Leftover prescription opioid painkillers, in particular, pose a risk for addiction and overdoses. 

Since 1999, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled. Every day, 115 Americans die from an opioid-related overdose - that is more than the number of people killed in car accidents or by guns.

Last fall, Americans turned in 456 tons (912,000 pounds) of unwanted prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites sponsored by the DEA and its almost 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its fourteen previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 9 million pounds—more than 4,500 tons—of pills.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

In addition to drop off events, you may take medications to a community disposal kiosk. Visit to find one near you.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 28 Take Back Day event, go to


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