Health & Wellness

Yorktown Highlights Importance of Properly Discarding Medication

Chief Robert Noble talks about the drug drop-off box, which is in the police department lobby the other 364 days of the year. Credits: Brian Marschhauser
Deputy Supervisor Gregory Bernard takes a bag of medication from a motorist. Credits: Brian Marschhauser
State Sen. Terrence Murphy holds a bag of prescription medication. Credits: Brian Marschhauser
Assemblyman Kevin Byrne Credits: Brian Marschhauser
Chief Robert Noble talks about the drug drop-off box, which is in the police department lobby the other 364 days of the year. Credits: Brian Marschhauser
Supervisor Michael Grace Credits: Brian Marschhauser
Det. Sean Lewis collects a bag of a medication. Credits: Brian Marschhauser
Supervisor Michael Grace Credits: Brian Marschhauser

YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Residents unloaded more than 200 pounds of unwanted prescription medications last week as part of the annual “Shed the Meds” event in Yorktown organized by state Sen. Terrence Murphy.

Jefferson Village in Yorktown was the latest stop on Murphy’s district-wide tour, which began in Mount Pleasant on July 31. Two weeks ago, he held a Shed the Meds event in Somers, where about 400 pounds of prescription medication was collected, according to Michael Jefferson, his communication director.

Ray Dorritie, a member of Drug Crisis in Our Backyard, a Carmel-based nonprofit organization, applauded Murphy for the initiative, saying, “People will live as a result.”

Sign Up for E-News

According to statistics, he’s right.

Seventy percent of people who abuse opioids get them from friends or families, said Liz Talbert, coalition coordinator for Alliance for Safe Kids, a Yorktown-based nonprofit organization.

Initiatives like this, Murphy said, are “common sense,” and he thanked the team of volunteers, first responders and elected officials who make it happen.

“This does not happen without their help,” Murphy said. “We’ve taken hundreds of pounds off the street just in this one location.”

Though special drug drop-off days highlight the importance of properly discarding prescription drugs (don’t throw them in the trash or in the toilet), it’s something residents are able to do year-round thanks to a box stationed in the lobby of the Yorktown Police Department headquarters. The box, funded by the Alliance for Safe Kids, is accessible around the clock, said Chief Robert Noble.

“Come on in, no questions [asked], and put it in,” Noble said. “Make sure you take it out of the [bottle], if you can, and always take your name off the label for identity-theft purposes.”

Det. Sean Lewis said the box is emptied monthly and the contents are incinerated.

Noble heaped praised on Yorktown’s elected officials, saying they “don’t choose to bury their heads in the sand” when it comes to the opioid epidemic.

He said Murphy recently awarded a $10,000 grant to the Yorktown Police Department for the purchase of a canine officer dedicated to narcotics. This will be the second canine officer to join the police department since the unit was revived two months ago.

Several years ago, Noble said, the town board also created a narcotics unit within the Yorktown Police Department. The unit consists of just one officer who works with Westchester County Department of Public Safety. In return, Yorktown receives assistance and resources from the county.

Supervisor Michael Grace said the narcotics unit is already “paying dividends” when it comes to drug-related arrests.

“The town of Yorktown has been one of those communities where we’re always out ahead of everyone else,” Grace said.

Deputy Supervisor Gregory Bernard also lauded the Yorktown Citizens Task Force Against Heroin, a nonprofit organization founded by Councilman Tom Diana. In recent years, the task force has hosted guest speakers and held training sessions on Narcan (a drug the reverses the effects of opioids). The task force also helped fund the Yorktown Police Department’s first canine officer, which will be introduced at the Sept. 5 town board meeting.

Councilman Ed Lachterman said medicine cabinets are often raided by teens for “Skittles Parties,” where party-goers pool their prescription medications together in a pile.

“This is where it starts,” Lachterman said. “This is a lot more than a gateway; it’s a huge, huge opening, and to close the door on this is tremendous.”

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne said issues like these are not partisan, citing Murphy’s 2016 bill limiting initial prescriptions for opioids to a seven-day supply. The bill was approved 62-0 in the senate and was signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Dorritie also noted that International Overdose Awareness Day, an unofficial day aimed at preventing overdose, reducing the stigma associated with it, and providing support to families and loved ones of overdose victims, will be celebrated Thursday, Aug. 31. Last year, he said, 63,000 Americans died of overdoses.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


The Hatch Act and Immigration Updates

This is for information purposes only. So, when you see headlines like the recent “Kellyanne Conway cited for two violations of the Hatch Act,” you will have a working knowledge of what it means. First off, what is the Hatch Act? This has nothing to do with Orrin Hatch, senator from Utah. Simply put, it states one cannot advocate for or against candidates while serving in an official ...

Are We All Connected?

A question that has long plagued me is whether we, as a species, have evolved in our consciousness of our interconnectedness to one another.

Influential philosophers, writers, economists and politicians have debated whether that should be our focus in the first place. Writers such as Ayn Rand (“The Fountainhead”) and her followers have suggested that our center of attention should ...

To Harrison, L'Chaim!

At long last, the smile of spring approaches, as an angry winter recedes into good riddance. Our spirit is ready to be re-charged. Damn the power outages, full speed ahead!

For my wife, Elyse, daughter, Elissa, and me, this otherwise exuberant time of year brings a confusion of mixed emotions. In 2003, on the opening day of spring, March 20, which happens to be my birthday, our 15-year-old son ...

Whose Hypocrisy?

March 7, 2018

Councilman Ed Lachterman has an unbridled First Amendment right to critique actions of the new Town Board majority and administration (Feb. 22, “An ‘air of hypocrisy’ at town hall”). But in the court of public opinion, his comments will fare poorly before those who respect objective truth.

The councilman’s political self-interest in the manufacture of non-issues ...

When It's Not OK to Ask If Everything's OK

There is this thing that I do that annoys the heck out of my family. Well, to be honest, there are a lot of things I do that annoy the heck out of my family, but I am thinking of one thing in particular.

Whenever someone is in the bathroom for what I determine to be an abnormally long period of time, I stand outside the bathroom door and yell,


I ...

Reading Across America With Dr. Seuss

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’m a school librarian and I wanted to remind your readers that March 2 was “Read Across America Day.”  Teachers, librarians and others who read with children encourage schools, libraries and parents to celebrate this day with their children. This special date was chosen because it is the birthday of Dr. Seuss, the adored children’s author. That ...

Hold Con Edison Accountable

March 14, 2018

To the editor,

I am writing to suggest that my fellow residents assist in holding Con Edison responsible for its disastrous handling of these storms and, further, to support steps that would ensure these now common shortcomings are not repeated.

Like too many here, I, my wife and three children ages 5, 3, and 8 months have been without power for more than a week. That we could live within ...

Upcoming Events

Sun, March 18, 12:00 PM

Lakeland High School, Shrub Oak

Save A Life

Education Other

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

OAC Steamer Co. Firehouse, Ossining

2018 Living Art Event

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Seton Holds First Social Fundraiser

March 14, 2018

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton school, 1375 East Main St., Shrub Oak will be hosting it's first ever Social Fundraiser on Friday, May 4th, 2018 in the Seton school gym.  Seton extends it's invitation to all to join in a night of food, fun, and dozens of raffles and silent auctions.  Entry tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets purchased by April 6th will be $35 per person; ...