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DEA, Local Police Collecting Unwanted Prescription Drugs This Weekend

by on April 25, 2014 3:00 PM

It's time to clear out the medicine cabinet.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's semiannual initiative to prevent expired or unwanted prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands is slated for Saturday with drop-off locations throughout the State College area.

In conjunction with police departments in Pennsylvania, including several agencies in Centre County, the DEA will collect unwanted or expired prescription drugs as part of its National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

In conjunction with State College, Ferguson Township and Patton Township police, area residents can hand over unwanted or expired prescription drugs anonymously between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the following locations:

- Wal-Mart, 1665 N. Atherton St.

- State College Police Department, 243 S. Allen St.

- Boalsburg Apothecary, 3901 S. Atherton St.

Ridding medicine cabinets of unneeded drugs reduces the risk the drugs will fall into the wrong hands through theft or burglary.

The number of Americans who abuse prescription drugs is greater than the number of those who use cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

Law enforcement experts say prescription drug abuse is also a growing trend among children with one in every three new prescription drug abusers being between 12 to 17. And experts say those who abuse prescription drugs ultimately switch to common street drugs, such as heroin, because they are cheaper.

Turning the drugs over to the DEA ensures the pills are disposed of properly, officials say. The DEA has cautioned residents against simply flushing the drugs down the toilet as they could contaminate drinking water.

Last October, the DEA collected 324 tons of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs at more than 4,000 collection sites.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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