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’Operation Medicine Cabinet’ Launched

Originally Posted: August 18, 2010

Hauppauge - Suffolk Executive Steve Levy joins law enforcement officials, healthcare providers and environmental advocates to unveil "Operation Medicine Cabinet," a countywide program that will enable parents to drop off unwanted, unused, or expired medications at a safe and secure location 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Levy and Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer will highlight the program and encourage parents to rid their homes of unused and unwanted prescription medications that are can readily become a first step on the path to adolescent drug abuse. "Healthcare professionals repeatedly note that prescription opiate abuse is the path to heroin use in suburbia," said Suffolk Executive Steve Levy. "'Operation Medicine Cabinet' is designed to attack this epidemic at its source by reducing the risk that meds are unwittingly available to children and others who could use them in an unintended manner."

Through 'Operation Medicine Cabinet,' secure receptacles that resemble mailboxes will be placed inside at each of Suffolk's seven police precincts. The initiative allows parents to use the receptacles anonymously, and its long-term objectives are to decrease cases of accidental ingestion of unknown or expired prescription drugs and to close the gateway to heroin abuse by reducing the availability of prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Percocet and Vicodin.

According to the New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, numerous municipalities have offered one-time-only drop-off days, but 'Operation Medicine Cabinet' will make the Suffolk County Police Department the first department statewide to offer a permanent, 24/7 drop-off facility.

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