Several Washington County Police Departments, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency, will collect expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday as part of the Take Back initiative.
Prescriptions can be dropped off with the McDonald Police Department at the McDonald Borough Building, 151 School St., McDonald; Midway Borough Building, 304 Noblestown Road, Midway; Burgettstown Borough Building, 1509 Main St., Burgettstown; or Robinson Township Building, 8400 Noblestown Road, McDonald. The Mount Pleasant Police Department will accept prescriptions at the Mount Pleasant Township Municipal Building, 31 McCarrell St., Hickory. The Pennsylvania State Police will accept prescriptions at the Washington barracks, 83 Murtland Ave., Washington.
"The Take Back initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue," said Washington County District Attorney Eugene Vittone. "Medications which languish in home medicine cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. It is no secret that the rates of prescription drug abuse in this country is alarmingly high and Coroner Tim Warco has made me aware that we have had a sharp increase in the number of overdose deaths in Washington County - primarily among our young adults and children. "
Studies have shown much of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet. In addition, flushing unused medication down the toilet or throwing them in the trash is not safe and poses potential health risks.
Last October, Americans turned in 377,080 pounds - 188.5 tons - of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and approximately 4,000 state and local law enforcement partners. In the three previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in almost a million pounds - nearly 500 tons - of pills.
"It is exciting to see this event growing," said Vittone. "I am truly pleased with the support that law enforcement has given this event since Chief Fruecht organized the first event. I commend our local police for recognizing the need for this vital public service and providing these 16 locations in Washington County to safely dispose of medication that is no longer needed."
The service is free and anonymous.