The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 14, 2014

Drop boxes now available for prescription drug disposal

By Marcia Moore
The Daily Item

— SHAMOKIN DAM — A new statewide program is making it easier for people to dispose of expired and unwanted prescription medications at drop boxes across Snyder and Northumberland counties.

The units are available at locations monitored by local law enforcement in both counties, giving residents a year-round opportunity to throw out legal drugs they no longer need without any questions asked.

“We want people to get used to recycling their medications the same way they got used to recycling aluminum,” Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch said today at the public launch of the program.

The service is offered free of charge and is currently being used by more than 30 counties that received a portion of a $100,000 federal grant supplied to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

Union County is also applying to take part in the program.

With three million teens nationwide becoming addicted to prescription medication each year and the death toll rising from prescription drug overdoses, Northumberland County District Attorney Anthony Rosini said, the proper disposal of expired and unused drugs is critical.

For the past five years, the counties have participated in annual Drug Take-Back initiatives. Piecuch said the one-time collection has grown over the years, with an increasing amount of prescriptions being dropped off and highlighting the need for a year-round collection effort.

Many abusers are young children who steal medications from their grandparents, said Middleburg Police Chief Tony Jordan.

Snyder County Sheriff Joseph Reigle Jr. said residents are taking advantage of the service offered through the MedReturn drug collection box set up at the sheriff’s office in Middleburg about a month ago.

MedReturn units are also available in Snyder County at Middleburg, Selinsgrove and Shamokin Dam Police Departments and in Northumberland County at the police departments in Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel Township, Shamokin, Coal Township, Sunbury and Milton.

Click Here for a list of drop-off locations and other information.