Medicine return box coming to Greencastle

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot

Greencastle will be one of four Franklin County locations for medicine return boxes.

District Attorney Matt Fogal announced that he is having four secure medicine return boxes installed that will allow people to dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medication safely and anonymously. The effort is a collaboration amongst the district attorney’s office, Franklin County Drug and Alcohol, Chambersburg Police Department, Waynesboro Police Department, Greencastle Police Department, Mercersburg Police Department and the Community Coalition.

“The best way to avoid the risks of prescription drug abuse, especially for children and teenagers, is to safely dispose of medications when they are unused or expired,” said Fogal. “These PA MedReturn drop boxes offer the public a safe, accessible, and convenient alternative to keeping prescription drugs that aren’t being used in the home, where they can get in the wrong hands or be disposed of in landfills or down the drain where they can end up in the water supply.”

The PA MedReturn boxes were awarded to the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office through a grant program made possible by a partnership between the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency as part of Governor Tom Corbett’s Healthy PA initiative.

“Governor Corbett’s Healthy PA initiative focuses on ensuring safe and appropriate access to prescription medications,” said Gary Tennis, Secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

“Our goal in creating this program is to provide education opportunities for the public, while reducing drug abuse and dependency.”

Prescription drug abuse is the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem and has been classified an epidemic by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In recent years, district attorneys across Pennsylvania have seen an increase in teenage pill parties, driving under the influence, and a dramatic increase in the use of heroin all related to prescription drug addiction.

The PA MedReturn collection boxes are located at various sites throughout the Franklin County area, specifically located at the Police Department Buildings in Chambersburg, Waynesboro, Greencastle, and Mercersburg. The hours of operation for collection will be from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The boxes will accept: prescription and over-the-counter solid medications (tablets and capsules); liquid medications, inhalers, creams, ointments, nasal sprays; and pet medications. The boxes will NOT accept: intravenous solutions, injectables and needles.

Additional information about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and to get help for yourself or a loved one is available at www.ddap.pa.gov

Prescription Drug Abuse

FAST FACTS

Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in America, including Pennsylvania. In October 2013, a national study revealed that Pennsylvania ranks 14th in the nation in the number of drug overdose deaths. There has been an 89 percent increase in the number of drug overdose deaths between 1999 - 2010.

• 3 million teenagers will become new prescription drug abusers this year. (America’s Addiction To Illicit Drugs Declining And Prescription Painkiller Abuse Growing, Narcanon Drug Education & Rehabilitation).

• In 2010, the number of deaths from prescription opioids was greater than the number of deaths from heroin and cocaine overdoses combined. (Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic;Trust for America’s Health.)

• In Pennsylvania, the drug overdose death rate (15.3) was greater than the motor vehicle death rate (11.0) in 2010. (Prescription Drug Abuse: Strategies to Stop the Epidemic; Trust for America’s Health.)

• Nearly one-third of those aged 12 and over who used drugs for the first time in 2009 began by using a prescription drug non-medically. (Results from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: National Findings, SAMHSA).

• More than a quarter of teens (27 percent) mistakenly believe that misusing and abusing prescription drugs is safer than using street drugs. (2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, The Partnership for Drug Free America.).

• One in four teens has misused or abused a prescription drug at least once in their lifetime — a 33 percent increase over the past 5 years. (2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, The Partnership for Drug Free America).

• One third of teens say they believe that it is okay to use prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them to deal with an injury, illness or physical pain. (2012 Partnership Attitude Tracking Study, The Partnership for Drug Free America).

• 20 percent of Americans over the age of 12 have admitted to abusing prescription drugs. (America’s Addiction To Illicit Drugs Declining And Prescription Painkiller Abuse Growing, Narcanon Drug Education & Rehabilitation).