Delco Council to hold initiative to dispose of expired prescription drugs
Delaware County Council will be participating in the national “Take Back” drug event.
The initiative aims to collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs and properly dispose them.
The event will take place on April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at various locations throughout Delaware County.
Deaths caused by drugs have now topped traffic-related deaths. The rise in drug-related deaths is due in large part to an increase in overdoses from prescription drugs. This is the first time drugs have caused more deaths than motor vehicles since the government started tracking drug-related deaths in 1979, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
“The ‘Take Back’ initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” said Jack Whelan, district attorney of Delaware County. “Many people are not aware that medicines that [sitting] in home cabinets are at a high risk for misuse and abuse and their misuse can be deadly.”
The county’s first event was held in September 2010. The area collected 277.4 pounds of drugs. The second event was held in April and collected over 900 pounds of drugs.
Nationwide, 4,000 state and local law enforcement agencies participated in these events, collecting and destroying more than 309 tons of pills.
“I think it’s important for people to participate in this national event because a lot of people do not know how to properly dispose of medication,” said Cierra Porter of Media. “I’ve worked in a hospital for many years and we were always told how to properly handle the disposal of medication, but a lot of local residents leave their old prescription bottles and over the counter products around.
“An event like this will not only teach residents how to properly dispose of their medication, but it will also bring awareness to abuse of prescription drugs,” she added. “I’m hoping it will be a good turnout and that people will continue to participate in this event for years to come.”
Some of the collection sites for the event will include the Aldan Municipal Building, Brookhaven Municipal Center, Upper Darby High School, Sharon Hill Borough Hall, Springfield Township Building, Media Police Department, Ridley Park Police Department, Nether Providence Police Station, Radnor Township Municipal Building, Pennsylvania State Police Barracks, Giant Food Store in Springfield and Eddystone Police Department at Lighthouse Hall.
The collection sites will anonymously accept both prescription and over-the-counter products that are solid in nature (tablets or capsules) with no questions asked.
However, any intravenous solutions, injectables, needles, or illegal substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine will not be accepted.
“Many residents do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away, both potential safety and health hazards,” Whelan said. “The prescription drugs collected at the event will be burned at an undisclosed location. For the people who are unsure in what to do with their unused or expired medicine, [they] can also ask their physician or pharmacist how to dispose of unused prescription medications.”