The Prescription Drug Take-Back program initiative focuses on alleviating the health and safety concerns from the diversion and abuse of prescription medications by helping our communities properly dispose of unused prescription medications.
Click here to find Drug Take Back Locations.
The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA), will work with local communities to provide grants that facilitate the installation of hundreds of secure and permanent prescription drug drop-off boxes installed throughout Pennsylvania.
Prescription drug misuse, abuse and overdose are growing concerns across the nation. According to a 2011 survey in Pennsylvania, 14 percent of youth surveyed admitted to taking prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them and 18 percent felt that prescription drugs were not harmful.
Dangers of Improper Prescription Disposal:
· Almost all prescription drugs involved in overdoses are originally prescribed by physicians.
· Prescription drug abuse has quadrupled in the past ten years; it now results in more deaths than all illicit street drugs combined.
· Prescription drug abuse is growing among adolescents in Pennsylvania: 13 percent of high school-aged children have abused opioid pain relievers, 6 percent tranquilizers, and 12 percent amphetamines (Adderall and Ritalin).
· Improper disposal of prescription drugs could create environmental hazards impacting groundwater and rivers and harming wildlife.
Preparing items for disposal at a Take-Back Box location
· All pharmaceutical drugs that are being disposed of need to be in a sealed container such as the original bottle or a zip-lock bag. They may not be disposed of loosely.
· Liquid pharmaceuticals should remain in the original container.
· Personal information should be removed or blotted out with a permanent marker.
· Prescription and over-the-counter solid medications
· Tablets and capsules
· Liquid medications in their original containers (i.e. cough syrups, cold medicines)
· Prescription patches
· Medical creams and ointments
· Nasal sprays
· Pet medicines
Items NOT Accepted
· Intravenous solutions
· Injectables, syringes, and needles (i.e. EpiPens)*
* These items should be taken to a health care professional's office or to a hospital for proper disposal.
· Hydrogen peroxide
· Compressed cylinders or aerosols (e.g., asthma inhalers)
· Iodine-containing medications
· Alcohol & illicit drugs (i.e. marijuana, heroin, LSD, etc.)
The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency awarded grants to District Attorney’s in 29 Pennsylvania counties for permanent drug take-back boxes. Please contact the location directly to confirm that the MedReturn box has been installed. For additional MedReturn drug take-back locations, please visit www.medreturn.com.
Links to partners:
If you have any questions about the prescription drug take-back program, please email us or call 717-783-8200.