The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 26, 2013

Give officers dose of your own medicine Saturday

— The Daily Item

A dozen Valley law-enforcement agencies will participate today in the seventh National Take-Back Initiative.

Valley residents will get their seventh chance in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring unused, unwanted or outdated medications for proper disposal. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.

Americans in April turned in 371 tons of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the Drug Enforcemen Agency and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners accepted more than 1,400 tons of pills.

More than 386 pounds of prescription medications were collected by the Northumberland-Montour Drug Task Force in April.

“It is hard to quantify the positive effect these collections have had,” Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini said. “The family members who did not become addicted to drugs, the burglaries that did not happen because the drugs were not kept in a home. Suffice it to say that the collection of medications removes the possibility of abuse and its related crimes from ever happening and helps keep our water clean.”  

This national initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that stay in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Rosini said he is hopeful residents will take the opportunity to dispose of their unwanted medications and tell their friends and relatives to check their medications and have them disposed of properly.

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