2018-04-01 / OnCall

Drug Take Back

Medication collection boxes vital in the fight against substance abuse
Kasandra Botti, DO

As identified in the most recent Centre County Community Health Needs Assessment, the most pressing

National Prescription  Drug Take Back Day is April 28

Medication collection
box locations:
Available during usual business hours
Bellefonte Police Department
236 W. Lamb St., Bellefonte

Centre County Sheriff’s Department
213 E. High St., Bellefonte

Ferguson Police Department
3147 Research Dr., State College

Patton Township Police Department
100 Patton Plaza, State College

Penn State Police Department
Eisenhower Parking Deck,
University Park

Willowbank Building
420 Holmes St., Bellefonte

health issue in our county is substance abuse. In fact, it is the heroin and opioid epidemic that most affects our area.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), prescription drug abuse has quadrupled in the past 10 years and now results in more deaths than all illicit street drugs combined. Prescription drug abuse is also growing among adolescents in Pennsylvania, with 13 percent of high school-aged children having abused opioid pain relievers, 6 percent tranquilizers and 12 percent amphetamines such as Adderall and Ritalin. The Centre County Heroin Opioid Prevention & Education (HOPE) initiative reports that as many as four of five new heroin users stated that they first began abusing prescription pain medication before moving to heroin. Sadly, 70 percent of those who abuse pain relievers get them from friends or relatives, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

In the last three years, DDAP, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and

Delinquency (PCCD) and the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association (PDAA), has worked with communities to provide grants that facilitate the installation of hundreds of secure and permanent medication drop-off boxes installed throughout Pennsylvania. With prescription medications — specifically, pain management drugs — often leading to drug dependence, Centre County currently has seven medication collection boxes for the drop-off of controlled and non-controlled substances, both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

The collection boxes, installed with a grant from the District Attorneys Association, are accessible to the public with no fee to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired medications. No personal information is required to turn in medications. Once collected, all substances are destroyed by incineration at a commercial incinerator contracted by the Office of the Attorney General.

If you have old or expired medications that you don’t want or no longer use, help prevent drug abuse and accidental poisoning in our neighborhoods, and consider disposing of your unwanted medications by visiting one of the locations above.

For more information on medication collection boxes, including items that are and are not accepted, and how to prepare medications for drop-off, visit •SCM

Kasandra Botti, DO, FACEP, is the medical director for the Department of EMS for Mount Nittany Health, employed by Centre Emergency Medical Associates. She serves as the Narcan Medical Director for multiple local municipal police departments, the Centre County Sheriff’s Department and for the Penn State Police Department. She also serves as the centralized coordinating entity (CCE) for Centre County’s Narcan program.

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