Governor Wolf Announces Agencies to Accept Unwanted or Expired Prescription Drugs on Saturday, Oct. 22

October 21, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced that on Saturday, October 22, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), the Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

All unwanted prescription pills and patches can be dropped off at participating police and fire stations and DEA offices on this Saturday.  However, Pennsylvanians can take expired, unused, and unwanted prescriptions at any time by visiting a Drug-Take Back location found here.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

CLICK TO WATCH Secretary Gary Tennis encourage Pennsylvanians to take their unwanted prescription drugs to drug take back boxes across the commonwealth this Saturday on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. 

“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue as medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” Governor Wolf said. “My administration has worked diligently to expand the availability of drug take back boxes across the commonwealth and I urge all Pennsylvanians to participate in this important initiative.”

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, 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.

“Pennsylvania has an opioid epidemic; one in four families is affected,” said Gary Tennis, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.  “We lose 10 people each day in our state to opioid overdoses, both from pills and heroin.  National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a great way to bring attention to this crisis – and to encourage people to get opioids out of circulation.”

“Last year, we lost more than 3,500 people to opioid overdoses,” said Tennis. “These people are mothers, fathers, daughters and sons. They leave behind grieving families.”

“An initiative like the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is an important part of the effort to combat the opioid crisis,” said Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Tyree C. Blocker. “This allows for the safe disposal of prescription drugs so they do not end up in the wrong hands or get flushed and end up in the water supply, which could harm the environment.”

Last April, during its spring National Drug Take-Back Day, the DEA and its partners collected more than 893,498 pounds (about 447 tons) of unwanted prescription drugs at almost 5,400 collection sites. Since the program began six years ago, about 6.4 million pounds (about 3,200 tons) of drugs have been collected. That’s more than a quarter pound of pills for each of the 25 million children aged 12 to 17 in America, pills that won’t result in abuse or overdose.

Since January 2015, Pennsylvania has collected approximately 150,000 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs, said Tennis, and that amount is expected to increase this year as additional permanent drug take-back boxes are added in locations around the Commonwealth.

“Getting drugs off the streets is an important step in fighting our opioid crisis,” said Tennis. “I encourage all Pennsylvanians to check their homes for unwanted and unneeded drugs that they could turn in at a drug take-back box.”

To find a drop-off location for the disposal of prescription drugs or for more information, you can visit the following websites:

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