Hamilton announces installation of medicine disposal facility

The following agencies participated in the ribbon-cutting for Hamilton’s new medication drop-off facility: Hamilton Police Department, Hamilton-area clergy, Hamilton Area Community Coalition, National Guard Counterdrug Task Force; Rep. Claudia Tenney, Assemblyman Bill Magee’s office, SOMAC, Colgate University campus safety, Hamilton Village Board and Hamilton-area parents.

Hamilton announces installation of medicine disposal facility

The Hamilton Area Community Coalition and the Hamilton Police Department recently announced the grand opening of Hamilton’s new prescription drug disposal drop box. Located in the front entrance of the Hamilton Police Department at 5121 Wings Way, Hamilton, the box is accessible every day around the clock.

HACC hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening, which included Rep. Claudia Tenney, representation from Assemblyman Bill Magee’s office, Mayor RuthAnn Loveless, Hamilton Police Chief Shawn Stassi, SOMAC Director of Operations Kyle Sylvester, National Guard Counterdrug Task Force SPC. Josh Banick, HACC Program Coordinator Melissa Cassulis, Hamilton Police Sgt. Matt Janczuk, Hamilton Police Officer Michael Mordus Jr., Letta Palmer, Colgate Campus Safety, Rev. Taylor Jackson and Susan Figueroa.

The drop-box project started in October as a conversation between Banick and Janczuk.

“I asked Sgt. Janczuk if Hamilton had ever considered opening a drop-box,” Banick said. “It just got the ball rolling from there.”

The men, both members of the HACC, met at Hamilton Central School while they waited to take the stage for a Red Ribbon Week drug prevention assembly organized by the group. A few weeks later, the HACC and Hamilton Police Department ordered the equipment through the state Health Department. Now, more than 10 months later, the box is securely installed and ready to collect unneeded, unwanted or expired medication from members of the community.

“People often see headlines about the opioid epidemic and wonder what they can do,” Cassulis said. “This is what we can do. Removing excess medicine from your home is the most effective way to reduce prescription drug and opioid misuse. It may seem like a small thing, but the most common access point for those misusing these substances is the home medicine cabinet.”

Tenney represented the partnership between the federal government and the work of the HACC.

“The HACC is funded under a federal Drug Free Communities grant, which is approved annually by Congress,” Cassulis said. “The DFC model has been recognized nationally as so successful in reducing youth substance abuse that not only did Congress re-approve funding for the program, but also increased funding this year, allowing even more communities like ours to benefit from local prevention initiatives. The HACC thanks Rep. Tenney for the continued bi-partisan congressional support of the Drug Free Communities program.”

Along with reducing access to prescription medication, responsible medicine disposal also significantly reduces the risk of accidental poisoning and prevents environmental contamination. The new drop-box will provide a full-time and convenient disposal option, a long-standing need in the Hamilton community.

“Special thanks to Hamilton Police Chief Shawn Stassi for spearheading the project and overseeing secure installation,” Cassulis said.

For more information on prescription drug safety, visit hamiltoncoalition.com or follow HACC at Facebook/HamiltonAreaCommunityCoalition.

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