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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day set for weekend

| Friday, April 27, 2012, 12:06 a.m.

Local agencies will collect unused and expired prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at sites throughout the area.

This will be the fourth National Prescription Drug Take Back Day hosted by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. During the last event in October, agencies collected more than 188 tons of medications from across the country, and the DEA has disposed of nearly 500 tons of medication since the first event in 2010.

In the Pittsburgh region, participants turned in more than 8 tons of unwanted medications last year, officials said.

Agencies collecting the drugs locally include the Pennsylvania Resources Council, along with Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pennsylvania American Water and Pittsburgh and Allegheny County police.

Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard said in a news release that the goal of the event is to "provide a one-time drop-off of unwanted drugs to help diminish the availability of potentially harmful drugs to those who may abuse their purpose, to help keep unwanted drugs out of the hands of children and to have them disposed of in a safe and controlled manner."

Pittsburgh police will collect the drugs at all six zone stations and at police headquarters at 1203 Western Ave. in the North Side.

Allegheny County police will collect medications at its North Park and South Park stations.

For additional information about the county police collection, call police at North Park at 724-935-1901 or at South Park at 412-835-8221 or go online to . To find a collection site near you, call 800-882-9539 or visit PRC'S Zero Waste Pittsburgh website at or call PRC at 412-488-7452.

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