Another Successful Shed The Meds in Putnam County

Posted: September 17, 2021 in Community, Drug Crisis, Environment, Health, In the News
Pictured from Left to Right: Bill Wilkins-MADD Putnam County, Michael Simone – President of The Prevention Council of Putnam, Susan Salomone – executive director and founder of Drug Crisis in our Backyard, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne, Lauren Johnson – community engagement facilitator for Putnam CTC & the Prevention Council of Putnam, Marie O’Connor –coalition coordinator of Putnam CTC & Prevention Council

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R, C, Ref-Mahopac) is pleased to announce the success of the Assembly office’s annual Shed the Meds event in Putnam County on Tuesday, September 14 at the Mahopac Volunteer Fire Department. Byrne was joined by local partners including Drug Crisis in Our Backyard, The Prevention Council of Putnam, Putnam Communities That Care (CTC) Coalition, NIH HEAL Initiative, and the Carmel Police Department. Over 250 pounds of unwanted and expired medications were collected to be safely disposed of by the Carmel Police Department. 

“The participation we continue to receive from our community in our Shed the Meds program is absolutely remarkable. Since we started this program with former state Senator Terrence Murphy, we have helped safely dispose of over 3,000 pounds of unwanted medications,” said Byrne. “Drug take-back days help prevent the misuse of unwanted and expired medications while also protecting our water supply from contamination when medications are flushed down the toilet- which no one should do. I thank our amazing local community partners for their support in making this year’s event such a success and I remain grateful to them for their continued commitment in the fight against addiction across the Hudson Valley.”

“Thank you, Assemblyman Byrne for continuing the practice of getting these highly addictive medications out of our homes. Many people start to misuse these medications that were initially prescribed for pain. We know now how dangerous these pharmaceuticals can be when they are in the hands of someone who may misuse them.  Having Assemblyman Byrne as a partner has been terrific and we look forward to continuing our partnership in this battle against addiction.” said Susan Salomone, Executive Director and Founder of Drug Crisis in our Backyard.

Marie O’Connor, coalition coordinator for the Putnam CTC Coalition & The Prevention Council of Putnam added, “In Putnam County, we have lost 111 lives to opioid overdose since 2014. Through the HEALing Communities Study, the overall goal is to reduce opioid overdose deaths by 40% in a three-year period. By engaging our community in free overdose prevention trainings, distribution of Naloxone kits, and Deterra safe medication disposal bags, we can arm our community with tools to prevent opioid overdose, and to safely and effectively dispose of unwanted medications. Putnam County is a small but mighty county, and through awareness and action, we can reduce overdose deaths by protecting ourselves, each other, and the environment.”

Since elected, Byrne has supported and held numerous Shed the Meds events throughout Putnam & Westchester Counties. He has also successfully advocated for stronger state policies like eliminating required pre-authorization for Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT), the passage of the “Drug Take Back Act” (Chap. 120 of 2018), and the creation of a new special opioid settlement fund to ensure settlement money is properly appropriated for treatment (A.6395-B, Chap.190, 2021). He also continues to push for support of drug treatment courts, increasing the number of days covered for in-patient and out-patient substance use disorder treatment (A.902) and increasing penalties on profit-making drug traffickers whose sales lead to the death of people suffering from addiction (A.6314).

The above information was previously distributed and made public for immediate release by the Office of Assemblyman Kevin Byrne