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Tribal, Massena, Potsdam PDs hosting drug takeback events today

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AKWESASNE - The St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Police Department will work in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to serve as a drop-off site for today’s prescription drug takeback.

Anyone with unwanted prescriptions can bring them to the justice building from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on state Route 37 in Akwesasne to be disposed free-of-charge. All drop-offs will be anonymous and no-questions-asked. The prescription does not have to belong to the person turning it in.

The event will be in the justice building parking lot, rain or shine.

“We know a lot of the people, but we don’t look at what they bring,” said Tribal Police Detective Sgt. Matt Rourke.

Sgt. Rourke said they will accept any old or unused medicine. He said he has had people turn in Nyquil at past takebacks and remembers a woman who turned in medicine from 1989.

Similar events are being staged at the same time by the village police departments in Massena and P:otsdam and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department in Canton.

Tribal Police Chief Andy Thomas said this is the third timehis agency has hosted a takeback and it is always successful.

“We did good last time, we came within a few pounds of the record for the north country, and we’re hoping to do it again,” Chief Thomas said.

He said at a previous event they had more drugs turned in than any other site from Watertown to Plattsburgh.

The events are held in light of epidemic prescription drug abuse and overdose numbers nationwide, some attributed to drugs being readily available in medicine cabinets at home.

People are also encouraged to dispose of prescriptions at take-backs because flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can present environmental and safety hazards.

The DEA organizes similar events around the nation regularly throughout the year. At the last round up in October, 188.5 tons of prescription drugs were collected at about 9,300 sites.

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