Wolf Administration Encourages Participation in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

October 26, 2018

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and his administration’s Opioid Command Center, including the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and Pennsylvania State Police, encourages all Pennsylvanians to take part in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 16th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day initiative tomorrow, October 27, 2018.

During the event, individuals may drop off unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications at any of the hundreds of secure locations throughout the state. The service is free and anonymous.

“Part of our all-hands-on-deck approach to the opioid crisis is encouraging Pennsylvanians to drop off unwanted and unused prescription drugs at one of the hundreds of secure drop-off locations in the state,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “Keeping prescription medications out of the hands of those they were not intended for is one more way to prevent the spread of substance use disorder.”

Since the inception of Pennsylvania’s drug take-back program in 2016, there have been more than 440,000 pounds of prescription medication destroyed, with more than 800 take-back boxes established in all 67 counties throughout the commonwealth. Last year, the Pennsylvania State Police installed prescription drug take-back boxes at 65 stations that are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“The department encourages all Pennsylvanians to clean out their medicine cabinets and participate in this critically important day in combatting the opioid crisis,” said DDAP Secretary Jennifer Smith. “By safely eliminating these prescription drugs from our homes, we are each doing our part to keep our communities and loved ones safe. If you are unable to participate tomorrow, remember there are drug take-back boxes in our communities throughout the commonwealth that can be used at any time.”

The DEA has offered National Prescription Drug Take Back Day since 2010 with the goal of fighting prescription drug abuse by creating convenient ways 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.

During its 15th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day in April 2018, the DEA and more than 4,600 law enforcement agencies participated, with more than 5,800 sites collecting 949,000 pounds of unused medication.

“Take-back boxes inside Pennsylvania State Police station lobbies are another resource in the commonwealth’s fight against the opioid epidemic,” said Acting State Police Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick. “Education and prevention are important parts of the public safety function of the department, and providing a safe, secure way to dispose of unused and unwanted prescription pills keeps these addictive drugs out of the hands of people who would misuse them.”

Individuals seeking recovery resources for themselves or a loved one can call the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). A live chat option is also available online or via text message at 717-216-0905 for those seeking help who may not be comfortable speaking to a helpline operator.

For more information on the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day visit www.dea.gov.

To find one of Pennsylvania’s drug take-back locations, click here.

Find more information on the state’s efforts to battle the opioid crisis here.

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