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Posted on: December 19, 2013

Drug take-back boxes to be placed throughout Westmoreland County


Westmoreland County residents with expired or unused prescription and over-the-counter medications can now safely dispose of them at locations near their homes. Governor Corbett announced that through his Healthy Pennsylvania plan, 250 secure medicine return boxes will be located in 29 counties throughout the state. Westmoreland will have MedReturn boxes at 21 police stations for disposal of medicine with no questions asked, 24 hours a day. One of these boxes is already located at the main entrance of the County Courthouse, manned by county Park Police officers.
The Pennsylvania District Attorneys’ Association received a $100,000 federal grant for the boxes. Funding was provided by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime & Delinquency, PA Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Staunton Farm Foundation. Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck worked with local police chiefs and the Westmoreland Drug & Alcohol Commission to determine the location of the boxes. Mr. Peck remarked, “Pennsylvania ranks 14th nationally in the number of drug overdose deaths. This is an epidemic in Pennsylvania and in America. By properly disposing of prescription drugs, citizens can make an impact on the epidemic.”
Westmoreland County has recorded 76 overdose deaths to date in 2013. Overdoses from prescription and illegal drugs have been the leading cause of death among accidents and suicides in Westmoreland County in seven of the last eight years, with record overdose death rates four years in a row. Surprisingly, many statistics show that in our county the largest segment of overdose deaths are a result of abuse or misuse of prescription medication, alone or in combination with alcohol or other drugs, in the 41-70 year old demographic. The County has convened a Drug Overdose Task Force to confront the epidemic, which has identified informing the public on proper disposal of commonly abused drugs and over the counter medications as a priority.

See http://www.co.westmoreland.pa.us/index.aspx?NID=1988 for locations police departments with MedReturn boxes.

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