The Pennsylvania State Police will accept unwanted, expired and unused prescription drugs Saturday, April 27, as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
“The ‘Drug Take-Back Program’ aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications,” State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., unwanted prescription medications may be dropped off at select State Police barracks. No personal information is required for drop-off. To find a drop-off location, visit www.psp.state.pa.us and click on the “Public Services’’ link on the left navigation menu.
This program is conducted in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), also reduces the introduction of potentially harmful substances into the environment. “As few disposal options exist, people tend to discard medications by rinsing them down the sink or by using other improper methods,” Noonan added.
Flushing medications contribute to water pollution and poses serious health risks to water supplies and fish habitat. Disposing of medications in trashcans causes groundwater contamination leaching out of landfills, harms the wildlife that ingest these drugs and enables others who dumpster dive to obtain the medications.
The DEA’s fifth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on September 29, 2012, resulted in more than 244 tons of unwanted or expired medications at more than 5,200 sites operated by the DEA. When added to the collections from DEA’s previous four Take-Back events, more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications were removed from circulation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in one month alone, nearly seven million Americans over the age of 12 reported abusing prescription medications. Approximately 60 percent of people who abuse prescription painkillers indicate that they obtained the prescription drugs from friends or relatives for free, often taking the drugs without permission.