Harrisburg, PA – On Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 14th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day initiative. Unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medicine may be dropped off at any of the hundreds of secure locations throughout the state. The service is free and anonymous – no questions asked.
“With more than 700 prescription drug take-back boxes in the state, it has never been easier for people to responsibly dispose of unused and unwanted medication,” said Governor Wolf. “Collaborative efforts such as National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day are an excellent reminder of the role we each play in the fight against the opioid epidemic.”
The DEA has offered National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day since 2010 with the aim of fighting prescription drug abuse by creating a convenient way to dispose of medication that would otherwise be at risk of misuse in home medicine cabinets. All medication collected will be destroyed by the DEA at EPA-approved incinerators.
“Prescription drug abuse is a contributing factor to the heroin and opioid epidemic that is gripping Pennsylvania and the nation, and too many people with prescription drug addictions obtain these medicines from family and friends’ medicine cabinets,” said DDAP Acting Secretary Jennifer Smith. “Keeping unused, unnecessary, or expired medication in homes increases the risk of it being abused. By participating in National Drug Take-Back Day, Pennsylvanians can help make their homes safer by properly disposing of medication.”
In September, PSP and DDAP announced the addition of 65 permanent prescription drug take-back boxes inside State Police stations in Pennsylvania that are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. An interactive map with addresses of participating State Police stations, and other locations with prescription drug take-back boxes, is available here.
“The fight against the opioid crisis is a true team effort,” said PSP Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker. “National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is an excellent reminder that we can all do our part by checking our medicine cabinets for unwanted or expired medications and safely dispose of them before they fall into the wrong hands.”
During its 13th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in April 2017, the DEA and more than 4,200 of its national, tribal, and community law enforcement partners collected 900,000 pounds (450 tons) of unwanted prescription drugs at almost 5,500 collection sites. Nearly 38,000 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs were collected in Pennsylvania. Since the program began seven years ago, about 8.1 million pounds (more than 4,050 tons) of drugs have been collected nationwide.
To find a drop-off location for the disposal of prescription drugs, visit ddap.pa.gov. For more information on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, visit http://www.dea.gov or call 800-882-9539.
SOURCE: PA State Police press release