Drug Take-Back Day scheduled for Saturday in Mt. Pleasant
Prescription drugs that are thrown away or flushed down the toilet can leech into water supplies, according to environmental experts.
Homeowners who keep drugs that are expired or no longer needed put themselves at risk for burglary and theft, according to officials at the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
That's why the group created a program in 2010 to remove potentially dangerous controlled substances from medicine cabinets across the country.
Since then, the administration has partnered with Westmoreland Cleanways and local law enforcement officials twice a year to give Westmoreland County residents the chance to surrender expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.
The next event will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby of the Mt. Pleasant Borough building, located at 1 Etze Ave.
The collection will be conducted locally by the Mt. Pleasant Borough Police Department.
Westmoreland Cleanways volunteers and police at the borough collection site — one of nine countywide — will answer questions about the collection and proper disposal of medication.
“It gives people a lot of opportunity to dispose of those narcotics who have them left over and did not know what to do with them,” said Mt. Pleasant Borough Police Chief Steve Ober. “We've had quite a few turned in. It's been very successful.”
According to a news release, the administration's sponsors the collection to get unwanted drugs out of people's homes where they can become a target of crime.
From an environmental standpoint, increasing quantities and varieties of drugs are showing up in the nation's water supply, according to the release.
From a practical standpoint, ridding a medicine cabinet of unwanted or expired drugs is a matter of personal safety.
“Taking expired medications, taking the wrong medication because a patient gets the pill bottle confused, or children getting into the medicine, all are significant risk factors in keeping unwanted (or) unneeded drugs in the home,” said Ellen C. Keefe, executive director of Westmoreland Cleanways.
Any controlled, non-controlled and over-the-counter medications will be collected including pills, creams and liquids.
The collection is anonymous so no identification will be requested.
No syringes will be accepted.
Participants will retain possession of their own medications and place the substances directly into the collection box.
Keefe said thanks to the local effort about 50 pounds of pills are collected at each location.
“At most locations, the number of participants is not terribly high, but those participants turn in a large volume of unused medications,” Keefe said.
Debbie Meshanski, owner of Diamond Pharmacy in Mt. Pleasant, said programs like this are beneficial to residents.
“I highly recommend that people take advantage of these drug take-back programs, they are much better for the environment and they can prevent accidental poisonings that can occur if someone improperly disposes of their medication,” Meshanski said.
Linda Harkcom is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Norvelt native authors book on progressive education
- Company honors Mt. Pleasant-area ornament collectors club
- Mt. Pleasant considers change to holiday event schedule
- Ireland makes its mark on Mt. Pleasant Area graduate
- Harmon House in Mt. Pleasant hires new center manager