Dunmore, PA – The Department of Aging hosted a Drug
Take Back Event today at DePietro’s Pharmacy in Lackawanna County as part of Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week,
a statewide initiative to get the overdose reversal medication naloxone to
Pennsylvanians and get help for residents suffering from the disease of
Pharmacy owner Tom DePietro welcomed and
thanked all attendees before introducing Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne, who
highlighted the urgency behind returning old and unused medication to drug
“The focus on Get Help Now Week is
embedded in the Wolf Administration’s commitment to get help for our fellow
Pennsylvanians who are suffering from the disease of opioid-use disorder, and
this effort also includes educating our residents about how easy it is to
discard unused or expired prescriptions year-round by dropping them off at an
authorized drug take back box,” said Secretary Osborne. “Neighborhood
pharmacies, like DePietro’s, are making an investment and a difference in this
battle by providing sites where we can all do our part to properly and
responsibly dispose of our unused prescription medications, and therefore
prevent the potential for and overdose.”
Drug take-back boxes provide a safe
method for disposing expired and/or unwanted prescription and over-the-counter
medication, as having unused medicine sitting at home puts it at risk for
misuse and abuse. The Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs created a statewide interactive map to help people find the closest
prescription drug take-back box to them. Drug
take-back boxes can be found at Pennsylvania State Police barracks, police
stations and municipal buildings, in addition to pharmacies. There are
nearly 700 drug take-back boxes throughout the commonwealth, and since 2014,
Pennsylvania has collected and disposed of nearly 400,000 pounds of drugs.
In addition to many pharmacies having
drug take-back boxes, as part of Stop Overdoses in PA: Get Help Now Week,
residents will be able to go to a state health center or their local pharmacy
to get the overdose reversal medication naloxone. This medication reverses the
effects of an opioid overdose and gives the patient a chance at recovery.
“We cannot get someone into treatment if
they are dead,” Governor Wolf said. “Naloxone saves lives and we should all
carry it because you never know when you will get the chance to help someone.
This year alone, emergency medical services have saved more than 9,000
Pennsylvanians using naloxone and transported 92 percent of them to the
hospital for treatment.”
Wolf first signed a heroin and opioid disaster declaration in January, 16 state
agencies have continuously worked to fight the opioid epidemic and have made
significant progress to help individuals and families dealing with this crisis.
Some accomplishments include waiving birth certificate fees for individuals
seeking treatment, using federal Medicaid funding in treatment facilities to
provide more than 12,000 individuals access to medically necessary treatment,
and providing career services to people who have been impacted by the opioid
epidemic and plan to return to work.
information on Pennsylvania’s response to the opioid crisis visit www.pa.gov/opioids.
MEDIA CONTACT: Drew Wilburne, 717-705-3702