The Cortland County
Drug Disposal Program
Many Americans are not aware that medicines in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are being obtained from family and friends, including those from the home cabinets.
The Cortland County Drug Disposal Program was created to address this growing concern for unused prescription and
over-the-counter medication. When prescription medications are easily available they can be used for purposes other than their original intent, increasing the chances of abuse. Flushing unused medicines down the toilet or crushing them and mixing them with coffee grounds or kitty litter to dispose of them was once the preferred method of disposal. Unfortunately, studies have now found that this method of disposal is no longer safe for the environment.
The Cortland County Drug Disposal Program offers annul collection events and permanent disposal kiosks for safe and convenient disposal. Simply gather up your medications, if possible leave them in the original containers and mark out any personal information, and then take them to one of our five convenient kiosk locations, or a take back event location in April and September.
In total, the community has disposed of over 22,000 pounds of prescription drugs since 2010.
How Do We Do It?
In 2015, four permanent drug disposal drop boxes were installed in each of the local law enforcement departments (City of Cortland Police Department, Village of Homer Police Department, Cortland County Sheriff’s Office, and SUNY Cortland Police Department).
In 2019, an additional drug disposal drop box was installed in the Guthrie Cortland Medical Center Emergency Room. This is the first drop-box located outside of a law enforcement agency.
Additional drug take-back event locations
From 2010 - 2017, two take-back events were held annually in April and September. These events were held in two locations in the County, one near the City of Cortland and one rotating between two rural communities. In 2017, in order to make the take-back events more accessible to rural populations, the number of locations was expanded to four (Cortlandville, Homer, Marathon, Cincinnatus), with two of the locations located in rural communities.
The Cortland County Drug Disposal Program is a made possible by the following partners in the community: Cortland Area Communities That Care, Cortland Prevention Resources, Cortland County Sheriff's Department, Village of Homer Police Department Cortlandville & Cincinnatus Fire Departments, Cortland County District Attorney’s Office and RSVP Volunteers.
Why Should You Dispose of
Proper Disposal of Medicines prevents misuse by teenagers and other adults.
Proper Disposal of Medicines keeps medicines from entering streams and rivers when poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet.
Proper Disposal of Medicines helps avoid health problems from accidentally taking the wrong medicine, too much of the same medicine, or a medicine that is too old to work well.
Proper Disposal of Medicines protects children from accidental poisoning.
Proper Disposal of Medicines protects pets from accidental poisoning.
Where And When Can You Dispose?
Turn in your UNUSED, UNNEEDED or EXPIRED medications for safe, free,
and anonymous disposal.