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Excess Prescription Drugs Accepted For Take Back Day

Prescription Drugs (file / credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Prescription Drugs (file / credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

CBS New York (con't)

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ALBANY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Everyone had an opportunity to dispose properly of unused or expired medications Saturday, dropping them off at sites around the state as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

New York State officials said the effort was important to protect the environment and public health by safely disposing of the drugs, particularly prescription medications.

Ordinary people, along with hospitals and health care facilities, need to stop flushing expired medications down the toilet, according to the Adrienne Esposito of the Long Island-based Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

“Trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs are already showing up in the water supply. Antibiotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants. That’s just not what we want,” she told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

Expired medications were accepted at designated drop sites Saturday so that they could be properly incinerated. The event ended at 2 p.m.

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“Our goal is to make sure this doesn’t get to be a public health problem,” she said. “You want your drugs to be prescribed by a doctor for a particular ailment, not showing up in your morning coffee.”

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