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Turn in unused or expired meds on Saturday

By Staff | Apr 24, 2012

The Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition, Advocates for a Drug Free Tomorrow, local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. This Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the public is urged to bring their medications for disposal to any of the sites listed below. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Local law enforcement agencies will be on hand throughout the collection process.

In Eastern Lycoming County the drop off sites are:

Hughesville Borough Office, 147 South 5th Street, Hughesville

Muncy Police Department, 14 North Washington Street, Muncy

Pennsdale Civic Center, 261 Village Road, Pennsdale

Collection procedures:

Controlled, non-controlled and over the counter medications will be collected.

This program is anonymous and all efforts should be made to protect the anonymity of individuals disposing of medications. No questions or requests for identification will be made by law enforcement personnel present.

Participants should remove any personal information from bottles or packages that contain pills/capsules and liquids and place the bottles or packages into the disposal box.

No effort should be made by law enforcement personnel to count, inventory or log medications.

Liquid products and creams in their containers will be accepted.

Sharpies and syringes will not be accepted due to the potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens.

Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds-188.5 tons-of prescription drugs at over 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. In its three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds-nearly 500 tons-of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. 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. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines-flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash-both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.

DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act, a process that can take as long as 24 months. Until new regulations are in place, the DEA and local law enforcement agencies as well as partnering agencies like Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition and Advocates for A Drug Free Tomorrow will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.