ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Police agencies throughout Allegheny County participated in the 21st biannual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, where expired or unused prescription drugs were collected by local police departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration.
In 2019, nearly 10 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Nearly 5% of children ages 12 to 17 have reported non-medical drug use over the past year, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
The event is coordinated by the DEA and is focused on offering an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.
“Many people may not realize the proper disposal of unused or expired prescription drugs can actually save lives,” said Sergeant Rebecca Bassano, Pittsburgh Police Narcotics and Vice. “Dropping off pill bottles at a disposal location can prevent them from getting into the wrong hands.”
In April, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police collected 34 boxes with a combined total weight of 672 pounds of prescription medications. Nationally, 420 tons of expired or unused medications were collected at over 5,000 collection sites. In the history of the event, more than 7,262 tons of unwanted medicines have been collected by various partners with the DEA.
“We have seen first-hand how drugs can devastate a person, a family and a community,” said Allegheny County Police Superintendent Christopher Kearns. “Hosting the Drug Take Back Day twice a year provides residents with an opportunity to remove temptation from those who are struggling with addiction and ensure that medications do not end up being used by anyone else.”
For more information about the safe disposal of prescription drugs or about the Take Back Day event, visit www.DEATakeBack.com.
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