Apr 16, 2013

Pennsylvania State Police Accept Unwanted Prescription Medications

April 27 is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Pennsylvania State Police National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

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 dropoff. To find a dropoff location, visit www.psp.state.pa.us and click on the "Public Services'' link on the left navigation menu.

This program, 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 said.

Flushing medications contributes to water pollution and poses serious health risks to water supplies and fish habitats. 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.

DEA's fifth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Sept. 29, 2012, resulted in more than 244 tons of unwanted or expired medications at more than 5,200 sites operated by DEA. When added to the collections from DEA's previous four take-back events, more than 2 million lb (1,018 tons) of prescription medications were removed from circulation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in one month alone, nearly 7 million Americans over the age of 12 reported abusing prescription medications. Approximately 60% 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.