CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — October 26 is the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The Cambria County Drug Coalition is partnering with the D.E.A.’s efforts and has teamed up with 25 local police departments and pharmacies across the county to help people safely dispose of their drugs.
“You don’t want to just throw them away, you don’t want to flush them down the toilet so what is the best way to dispose of them? Taking them to one of these locations is really safe.”
Natalie Kauffman, a Prevention Support Specialist for the coalition, says it’s also a great preventative measure to keep the drugs out of the wrong hands.
“Anyone can become addicted, no one is immune to it. Just knowing that you want to get those medications out of the house and disposed of safely so they don’t end up in the wrong hands.”
The Richland Police Department installed a prescription drug drop off box three years ago, and Detective Thomas Keirn says it’s been used a lot by people in the community.
“We empty our box probably about every week and a half.”
This year each location will also have an additional box to drop off needles and other sharp objects.
“Last year we actually had a woman who had over 300 needles from her cat receiving injections and medications that her cat was on and so she needed to dispose of them safely,” says Kauffman.
So far in 2019, more than 1,800 pounds of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs have been collected and safely disposed of across the county, and Kauffman says it all starts with an assessment.
“The first step is to take inventory to see what you have and know what you have in your home. That is a prevention method in and of itself and then to dispose of the unwanted medications.”