Harrisburg, PA - Today, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs’ (DMVA) Counterdrug Joint Task Force (CJTF) visited Harrisburg’s Susquehanna Township Police Department’s take-back box to encourage all Pennsylvanians to take part in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 17th National Prescription Drug Take-back Day initiative Saturday, April 27.
Since the inception of Pennsylvania’s drug take-back program in 2014, there has been more than 537,000 pounds of prescription medication destroyed, with more than 800 take-back boxes established in all 67 counties throughout the commonwealth.
“The partnership between the Wolf Administration and local law enforcement is invaluable as we continue to combat the opioid crisis,” said DDAP Secretary Jennifer Smith. “By having drug take-back boxes throughout Pennsylvania communities, we are safely eliminating these prescription drugs from our homes and each doing our part to keep our communities and loved ones safe.”
The CJTF is operated by the Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) and provides Counterdrug support to federal, state, local law enforcement agencies, community-based organizations, and educational and government organizations that request assistance at no-cost to the agency supported. The PNG is part of the DMVA’s dual mission, which also includes supporting Pennsylvania’s nearly 800,000 veterans.
“The rise of prescription drug opioid deaths throughout the commonwealth has presented health risks that make it imperative to have collaborative community programs like the Prescription Drug Take-Back Day,” said COL. Richard Collage, commander, CJTF. “The National Guard is proud to play a role by providing assistance with transporting and disposing of the drugs in the take-back boxes. This directly supports the commonwealth’s mission to improve the safety and welfare of Pennsylvanians.”
During the DEA’s Prescription Drug Take-back Day, individuals may drop off unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication at any of the hundreds of secure locations throughout the state. The service is free an anonymous.
The DEA has offered National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day since 2010 with the goal of fighting prescription drug abuse by creating convenient ways to dispose of medication that would otherwise be at risk of misuse in home medicine cabinets. During its 16th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in October 2018, the DEA and more than 4,800 law enforcement agencies participated, with more than 5,800 sites collecting more than 900,000 pounds of unused medication. All medication collected will be destroyed by the DEA at EPA-approved incinerators.
Individuals seeking recovery resources for themselves or a loved one can call the toll-free PA Get Help Now helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). A live chat option is also available online or via text message at 717-216-0905 for those seeking help who may not be comfortable speaking to a helpline operator.
For more information on the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day visit www.dea.gov.
Find one of Pennsylvania’s drug take-back locations here.
Find more information on the state’s efforts to battle the opioid crisis here.