Police to participate in ‘Take Back’ of prescription drugs

JOHNSTOWN – Both Glove Cities police departments will participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Seventh National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 26.

The program – run through DEA’s Office of Diversion Control – will be conducted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day.

Sites to be used for people to drop off their expired or unneeded prescription drugs are: Gloversville Police Department, 3 Frontage Road; and Johnstown Police Department, 41 E. Main St.

The DEA website says national Take-Back initiative aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Johnstown Police Chief Mark Gifford told the Common Council last week the public has been disposing of their prescription drugs for the last two years in his city.

“It’s a good program,” the police chief says.

Gifford said the one-day event last time netted four to six 40-gallon garbage bags full of unwanted prescription drugs. The police take the drugs to Albany, where they are destroyed.

Johnstown 1st Ward Councilman Cindy Lakata said participants are doing the right thing by safely bringing the drugs to the police station.

“I’m glad people do that rather than flush them,” Lakata said.

The DEA says that according to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That same study revealed more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet.

In other reports to the council last week:

Assistant Fire Chief Michael Heberer reported “steady progress” continuing at two construction sites in the city – T.J. Maxx at the Johnstown Shopping Mall and Fage USA at the Johnstown Industrial Park. T.J. Maxx is building a 23,400-square-foot, single-story, steel-frame department store. Fage USA, a yogurt company, is undergoing a major expansion that includes an 180,000-square-foot addition at the plant.

Heberer also reported seven houses are in different stages of construction.

Third Ward Councilwoman Helen Martin reported the Johnstown Senior Citizen’s Senior Club will host an anniversary luncheon Thursday at Fox Run.

Martin also said the 50 Plus Club will conduct a pancake breakfast from 8-11 a.m. Nov. 3; and an Election Day Bake Sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 5.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at manich@leaderherald.com.