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Event makes prescription drug disposal safe, easy

| Thursday, April 25, 2013, 1:31 a.m.

Residents can anonymously drop off unwanted prescription drugs for safe and free disposal during the national Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday at a number of local police stations and other locations.

No personal information is required.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) works with the state police and other law enforcement offices to collect the drugs because of the potential for drug abuse and potential environmental contamination.

In the past, residents typically flushed unwanted medications down the toilet or drain or threw them in the trash.

But those methods can cause water pollution and groundwater contamination, according to the state police.

The Drug Take-Back Day provides a “safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications,” State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said.

People will be able to drop off their drugs at more than 5,200 sites nationwide, according to Trooper Adam Reed of the state police in Harrisburg.

“The event is widely participated in, and all of the locations are fairly busy with collections,” Reed said.

During the past five years, the Drug Take-Back Day has taken more than 2 million pounds of prescription drugs out of circulation, according to state police.

Mary Ann Thomas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4691 or mthomas@tribweb.com.

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