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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Offers Chance to Clean Out your Medicine Cabinet

by on October 25, 2013 6:45 AM

If you're like a lot of people, your medicine cabinet is probably bulging with leftover prescription drugs.

There's the vicodin from when you wrenched your back five years ago, and the percocet you took for that sprained ankle when you were still in high school. And who knows what's in that bottle with the faded label?

If that sounds like you, here's a chance to clean up your act. National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is scheduled for Saturday, Oct.26.

Police officers from Ferguson and Patton Township police departments will be collecting unwanted prescription drugs. You can drop off your unused drugs at Giant Foods at 255 Northland Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

They'll accept pills in bottles along with liquids and creams in their original containers. Anyone who turns in medication will remain anonymous.

Removing potentially dangerous prescription drugs from your house can help keep your family safe. Ferguson Township Police Officer William Chambers says, "It's a good idea to get rid of them. Some are strong narcotics. You don't want your kids to get into them."

Similar drug collection efforts have produced good results in the past. Chambers says they usually fill up four or five good-sized boxes with unwanted drugs.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is sponsored by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. It's part of a strategy to reduce prescription drug abuse. According to the DEA's website more than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, sometimes by raiding the family medicine cabinet. 

The program has been extremely successful. At the last National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, held in April, 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications were collected nationwide. Since the program began in 2011, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of medication has been taken out of circulation.

Click HERE to learn more about the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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