Article Details

Amid Deadly Drug Epidemic, Sheriff Urges Residents to Drug Test their Kids, Lock Up Painkillers, and Dispose of Unused Prescriptions

Categories: | Author: sheriff sheriff | Posted: 3/3/2017 | Views: 1382

Highly toxic and addictive prescription painkillers are continuing to make their way into the hands of individuals who misuse prescription opioids, and Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco is urging the public to help spread the word about the deadly consequences of misuse of painkillers and how it has become a major public safety threat.  Today he posted a Public Service Message on the Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and is hoping the public will spread the word using the hashtag #DeadEndDRUGS.

“Prescription narcotic drugs like fentanyl patches must be locked in a medicine cabinet.  When these drugs are used illicitly, or if they accidentally get into the wrong hands of children or teens, they can quickly lead to death,” stated Sheriff DeMarco.  He added, “If you have been prescribed a painkiller, and you are no longer taking the drug, bring it to a medicine drop off site where it can be properly disposed.”   

Pictured is a text graphic with alerting residents of the dangers of fentanyl and carfentanil.

Fentanyl and fentanyl analogs are being sold on the illicit market and mixed into heroin.  Fentanyl is also being crushed into counterfeit opioid pills sold on the black market, and are unknowingly being consumed by people who think they are buying oxycodone, Xanax and other pills to feed their addiction.  Another deadly drug, carfentanil, which is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, is also being sold on the streets disguised as heroin.  It is widely known that Mexican drug cartels are largely responsible for the widespread distribution of fentanyl and carfentanil in the illegal drug market in the United States.  Much of the carfentanil is being manufactured in China, and sent to Mexico and Central America before it makes its way across the southern border and to New York.   

“If we thought we had a problem five years ago when we saw an uptick in heroin addiction and related crime, we are dealing with something far worse.  The public has to be more vigilant about disposing of these drugs properly, lock them up if you have them, test your kids for drug use on a regular basis, and talk with them about the deadly consequences of drugs being sold on the streets,” said Sheriff DeMarco.

The Suffolk County Sheriff’s Office offers free drug testing kits for parents and locations where the general public can dispose of unused medications.  Since 2010, the Sheriff’s Office has given out more than 15,000 drug testing kits free of charge under DeMarco’s Test Don’t Guess Initiative.  While the test kit does not specifically test for fentanyl and carfentanil, it does test for heroin and common opioids.  The public can also “Shed the Meds” by dropping off their unused prescriptions at disposal boxes at the Sheriff’s Offices in Yaphank and Riverhead, and at community sponsored events throughout Suffolk County. 

For more information, visit our Community Programs page.

Print Bookmark and Share

Return to previous page