On the last Saturday in October, 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 Association of Montgomery County. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.
So far, the local participating Police Departments are:
- Upper Dublin Township Police Department – 801 Loch Alsh Avenue, Fort Washington
- Ambler Borough police Department – Front Lobby – 131 Rosemary Ave.
- Lower Gwynedd Township Police Department – 1130 N. Bethlehem Pike, Spring House, PA 19477
- Whitpain Township Police Department – 960 Wentz Rd., Blue Bell
All 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 fall’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.
“Each time we hold a Drug Take Back Day, we collect more and more medications, which means that people are getting the message that they need to get these unwanted medicines out of their homes and have them disposed of in a safe manner,” said Steele. “Montgomery County residents are also becoming increasingly aware that there is a direct link between the over-prescription of opioids and the heroin-opioid epidemic. Hopefully, people are taking just what they need in terms of their prescription medicines and then disposing of the rest of the unwanted pills by dropping them off on a Take Back Day or at one of the more than 50 permanent boxes.”
Since the Take Back program began in 2010, more than 50,000 pounds of medicines have been collected and safely disposed of. The last two Take Back Days have continued to set new records: On April 28, 2018, nearly 8,000 pounds (7,981 pounds) were collected and on Oct. 28, 2017, more than 7,700 pounds were collected (7,789.42 pounds) for a total of 15,770 pounds in one year.
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.