WASHINGTON - Washington County District Attorney Eugene A. Vittone announced 17 secure medicine return boxes will be installed in local police departments to combat prescription drug abuse.
The boxes will allow residents to dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medication safely and anonymously.
"The best way to avoid the risks of prescription drug abuse, especially for children and teenagers, is to safely dispose of medications when they are unused or expired," said Vittone.
"These PA MedReturn drop boxes offer the public a safe, accessible and convenient alternative to keeping prescription drugs that aren't being used in the home where they can get in the wrong hands or be disposed of in landfills or down the drain where they can end up in the water supply.
"I appreciate our local police departments for stepping up and agreeing to help by reducing the supply of unwanted medications in Washington County."
The PA MedReturn boxes were awarded to the Washington County district attorney's office through a grant program made possible by a partnership between the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency as part of Gov. Tom Corbett's Healthy PA initiative and Staunton Farm.
"Gov. Corbett's Healthy PA initiative focuses on ensuring safe and appropriate access to prescription medications," said Gary Tennis, Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs secretary. "Our goal in creating this program is to provide education opportunities for the public, while reducing drug abuse and dependency."
Prescription drug abuse is the nation's fastest-growing drug problem and has been classified an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In recent years, district attorneys across Pennsylvania have seen an increase in teenage pill parties, driving under the influence, and a dramatic increase in the use of heroin - all related to prescription drug addiction.
The PA MedReturn collection boxes are located at various police department sites throughout the Washington County area. The boxes will accept prescription and over-the-counter solid medications, including tablets and capsules; liquid medications; inhalers; creams and ointments; nasal sprays; and pet medications. The boxes will not accept intravenous solutions, injectable and needles.
Additional information about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and resources for those suffering from addiction and their loved ones is available at www.ddap.pa.gov.