ShareThis Page

Butler County police stations add drug drop boxes

| Saturday, Dec. 28, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

Misuse of prescription drugs can lead to abuse of illegal drugs, Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger said, and officials hope a new drug collection program will help stop that.

“We're trying to get unused, unwanted medications off the street in a safe manner,” Goldinger said. “People are abusing it. They're taking medication that's not theirs, they're using it or selling it, and get addicted.”

A $100,000 federal grant is paying for 250 prescription drug drop boxes throughout the state in an effort guided by Pennsylvania district attorneys, local police and the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.

Organizers installed seven drop-off points in Butler County at police stations in Cranberry, Butler, Butler Township, Slippery Rock, Saxonburg and Penn and in the lobby of the Butler County Prison.

“We tried to have them situated as best as we could so it was convenient for everybody,” Goldinger said. “The boxes had to be in a secure location.”

An unrelated event sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in October to collect unwanted medications, generated a greater response than expected, Cranberry Public Safety Director Jeff Schueler said.

“People just don't know what to do with unwanted drugs,” Schueler said.

He added that the collection box in the police station fit well with the township's philosophy of recycling and keeping water supplies clean.

Goldinger said flushing old medications is “the worst thing to do” because it can pollute the water supply.

The Pennsylvania Medical Society recommends that anyone dropping off medications scratch off personal information on bottles. Also, the society said, if someone is worried about safety, he or she should put the drugs in a bag that's not transparent to hide what they're carrying, and go with someone when dropping off the drugs.

Butler County detectives will collect and incinerate the medications, just as narcotics and other seized evidence in criminal cases is destroyed, Goldinger said.

“It's a no-lose situation,” Goldinger said. “You can't go wrong with this. Even if it's not used a lot, but people will take their medication there to get them off the street.”

Most prescription and over-the-counter medications can be dropped into the secure boxes. Needles, inhalers, aerosols, thermometers and medical wastes won't be accepted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.