HARRISBURG – Pennsylvanians are urged to turn in expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications at collection sites statewide during the first National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, Sept. 25, said State Police and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
The day is an initiative of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA.
“This service, which is free and anonymous, gives residents an opportunity to safely dispose of potentially dangerous substances,” said State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski.
“Many people are not aware that older and unused medicines in homes can pose significant public health, environmental and safety issues,” said PCCD Chairman Walter M. Phillips Jr. “The goal of this program is to prevent prescription drug abuse and reduce the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses that can result from misusing these drugs.”
Pawlowski said controlled, non-controlled and over-the-counter drugs will be collected for disposal from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 25. Solid dosage medications, such as tablets and capsules, will be accepted. Intra-venous solutions, injectable medications and needles will not be accepted. No requests for identification will be made by law enforcement officers at the collection sites.
To find a disposal site near you, visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/takeback/.
According to the DEA, drugs that languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are rising at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of unused medicines, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – actions that pose safety and health hazards.
PCCD has supported similar prescription and medication clean-up days in Pennsylvania, hosted by Drug Free Pennsylvania and the Pennsylvania Medical Society, in Pittsburgh and in suburban Harrisburg.
Taking part in the program are state and municipal police departments; the DEA; the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the Partnership for a Drug-Free America; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the Federation of State Medical Boards; and the National District Attorneys Association.
Pawlowski and Phillips said anyone who is unable to take advantage of the program on Sept. 25 should check with their local municipality or local recycling service for similar programs. Information also is available on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Web site.
Editor’s Note: The following is a list, by county, of collection points offered by state police:
• Adams: Biglerville High School, 161 N. Main St., Biglerville
• Armstrong: PSP Kittanning, 184 Nolte Drive, Kittanning
• Beaver: PSP Beaver, 1400 Brighton Road, Beaver
• Bedford: PSP Bedford, 171 Arthur L Hershey Drive, Bedford
• Butler: PSP Butler, 200 Barracks Road, Butler
• Cambria: Johnstown Galleria, 500 Galleria Drive, Johnstown
• Clinton: PSP Lamar, 7127 Nittany Valley Drive, Mill Hall
• Crawford: PSP Meadville, 11176 Murray Road, Meadville
• Dauphin: North Dauphin Human Services Center, 295 State Drive, Elizabethville
• Delaware: PSP Media, 1342 W. Baltimore Pike, Media
• Erie: PSP Erie, 4320 Iroquois Ave., Erie
• Huntingdon: PSP Huntingdon, 10637 Raystown Road, Huntingdon
• Jefferson: PSP Dubois, 101 Preston Way, Falls Creek
• Juniata: PSP Lewistown, 34 Arch Rock Road, Mifflintown
• Lackawanna: PSP Dunmore, 85 Keystone Industrial Park, Dunmore
• Lancaster: PSP Lancaster, 2099 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster
• Lawrence: PSP New Castle, 3539 Wilmington Road, New Castle
• Lebanon: PSP Jonestown, 2632 SR 72, Jonestown
• Lehigh: PSP Bethlehem, 2930 Airport Road, Bethlehem
• Luzerne: PSP Hazleton, 250 Dessen Drive, West Hazleton
• Luzerne: PSP Wyoming, 475 Wyoming Ave., Wyoming
• Lycoming: PSP Montoursville, 899 Cherry St., Montoursville
• Mercer: PSP Mercer, 826 Franklin Road, Mercer
• Monroe: PSP Swiftwater, Rt. 611, Swiftwater
• Montgomery: PSP Skippack, 2047-C Bridge Road, Schwenksville
• Pike: PSP Blooming Grove, 434 Rt. 402, Hawley
• Schuylkill: PSP Schuylkill Haven, 23 Meadowbrook Drive, Schuylkill Haven
• Susquehanna: PSP Gibson, 2856 State Rt. 848, New Milford
• Venango: PSP Franklin, 6724 U.S. 322, Franklin
• Washington: PSP Washington, 83 Murtland Ave., Washington
• Wayne: PSP Honesdale, 14 Collan Park, Honesdale
• Westmoreland: Shop-N-Save Plaza, 1900 Lincoln Road, Latrobe
• York: Giant Pharmacy, 801 Baltimore St., Hanover