Montgomery County to host medication take back event
On the last Saturday in April, police departments throughout Montgomery County will be collecting unwanted, unneeded and expired medications as part of the Drug Take Back Day, organized by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office and the police chiefs of Montgomery County.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 28. Locations will be announced closer to the event, but more than 80 percent of all police departments typically participate in this bi-annual event.
This spring’s Take Back Day, which coincides with the DEA’s nationwide Take Back Day, is a chance for Montgomery County residents to clean out their medicine cabinets of unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications and dispose of them easily in a safe, environmentally friendly way. Ridding medicine cabinets of these medications is an important step in combatting the opioid and heroin epidemic, which often begins with prescription medicines taken from a home medicine cabinet.
It is also a way to make sure our water supply remains safe and healthy by keeping unwanted medicines from being flushed into the water supply or disposed of through trash collections.
Since this Take Back program begin in 2010, more than 42,000 pounds of medicines have been collected and safely disposed of. The last two Take Back Days have continued to set new records: On Oct. 28, 2017, more than 7,700 pounds were collected (7,789.42 pounds) and last April, more than 7,200 pounds were collected (7,204.39 pounds) for a total of nearly 15,000 pounds in one year.
“Clearly, folks are getting the message that they need to get these medicines out of their homes and have them disposed of in a safe manner,” said District Attorney Kevin R. Steele. “There is a growing awareness of the enormity of the heroin-opioid epidemic and its link to the over-prescription of opioid medications.
“Collecting unwanted medications is just one way the District Attorney’s Office and law enforcement in Montgomery County are working together to combat drugs in our communities and decrease overdose deaths.”
Take Back Day locations will accept prescription and over-the-counter tablets and capsules, liquid medications, inhalers, creams and ointments, nasal sprays and pet medications. Not accepted are intravenous solutions, injectable solutions and needles. Prescription medicines can be in their original prescription bottles with the label removed or can be placed in zippered plastic bags.
Police department are in the process of registering to participate in Take Back Day. A complete list will be posted on the District Attorney’s website at http://www.montcopa.org/da by April 15.
Beyond Take Back Day, unwanted medications can be dropped off and disposed of throughout the year at more than 50 permanent prescription drug disposal boxes, some of which were sponsored by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association and some by Pennsylvania American Water in an effort to help keep our water supply safe. The complete list of permanent locations can be found on the District Attorney’s Office website at www.montcopa.org/da.