Opioid addiction is a huge problem across New York, contributing to a 60% increase in opioid deaths in Albany County from 2019 to 2020.
In Rensselaer County, the new Prescription Opioid Safe Disposal Law requires pharmacies to provide drug-deactivation bags with each transaction of the prescriptions.
“As we all know, we have a severe opioid addiction problem, not only in this county or in this region and in the state, but in the entire nation,” said Rensselaer County Executive Steve McLaughlin.
What You Need To Know
- From 2019-2020 opioid deaths increased by 60% in Albany County
- In Rensselaer County, a new law called the Prescription Opioid Safe Disposal Law requires pharmacies to give out drug-deactivation bags with each transaction of the prescriptions
- Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed an executive order today adopting the same policy
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy signed an executive order Friday adopting the same policy.
“You have a party at your house, you can tell if there is liquor missing, you can tell if there is beer missing, but who counts the prescription drugs in the cabinets?” McCoy said.
“People do want a way to dispose of these to keep them out of the hands of kids, out of their households, and what this product does is you can put a significant number of opioids in that bag, add some water, shake it up and you can safely dispose of your opioids in a landfill,” McLaughlin said.
With that easy method to deactivate the drugs, officials say they think this law can be adopted statewide.
“We’ve changed how opioids are being prescribed. We are no longer seeing people come out of a hospital after major surgery with a 30, 60, 90-day supply of opioids. These county executives changed that in the medical profession, and today’s example, today's local law passed by Rensselaer County, is a statewide model on what local governments can do to help people with substance abuse problems,” said Steve Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties.