NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. -- For Niagara County Legislator Randy Bradt, the opioid and heroin crisis is personal. He lost his 22-year old nephew to opioid addition.
"He went down the same road I was, just speaking of, tried to get him some help. Help’s not - it’s not that help’s not available, it’s just hard to get at that point,” said Bradt, R-North Tonawanda.
A prescription drug drop-box that, starting Wednesday, stands in the lobby of the North Tonawanda Police Department is an attempt to make sure no other child does go down the path from prescription painkillers to opioid and heroin addiction.
"They have a place to drop those pain pills off, to dispose of them, get them out of their house because one thing we know, the heroin epidemic, for many people started with pain medication, started with abusing prescription pain pills, taking pain pills, getting addicted, and them going over to heroin," said state Sen. Robert Ortt, R-North Tonawanda.
"It's an anonymous drop-box, no questions asked. prescription drugs, non-prescription drugs, they can come here, put it in the box, and walk out," Bradt said. "We're trying to get prescription drugs from flushing them down the toilets to getting them off the streets."
Bill Bly battled drug addiction more than 30 years ago. He now helps others overcome their addictions at Horizon Village.
"If one person decides to take some unused medications out of that medicine cabinet and drop them in that box, that potentially can save a life. It can save a lot of misery for a lot of people," said Bly.
There are currently six drop-boxes located at various law enforcement agencies throughout the county.
The drop-box was donated by Covanta Niagara. The Covanta Energy-from-Waste facility will safely destroy and convert medications into clean energy at no cost to Niagara County.