Drug dropoff Saturday in Dunkirk

The Dunkirk Police Department, WCA ALSTAR Ambulance, Fredonia Police Department, Silver Creek Police Department, Westfield Police Department, SUNY Fredonia Police and Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department, in cooperation with the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, are coordinating National Prescription Drug Dropoff Day Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

WCA ALSTAR Services has again provided its north-county headquarters for the drive-in, dropoff location. ALSTAR North is located behind School No. 3 at Route 60 and Orchard Street in the city. The prescriptions can be dropped off with no questions asked.

This is an important program because any unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue leading to accidental poisoning, overdose and abuse. In many states deaths from prescription drugs now exceeds those from motor vehicle accidents with opiate painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin leading the abuse.

In 2010 it was reported that the number of people seeking treatment for painkiller addiction had increased 400 percent within the last 10 years. A 2009 report shows that one in 10 12th grade students used pharmaceutical narcotic pain killers for non-medical use. The report also showed that the majority of the teenagers (62 percent) using prescription drugs got them from family and friends, including from medicine cabinets in their own homes. Unintentional overdose deaths from prescription opiods increased 175 percent over a five-year period. In a 2008 report it was noted that there were 6.2 million Americans 12 years of age and older who abused prescription drugs within the past month, with seven of the 10 most commonly abused drugs by teenagers being prescription medicine.

“Please take the time to empty your shelves and cabinets of unused and expired prescription drugs and bring them to the drop-off point at ALSTAR Ambulance behind School No. 3 on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano said. “Again, this will be a drive-in and dropoff with no questions asked.”