Police: Prevent abuse, ditch unused drugs

In 2015, 63 drug overdose deaths occurred in Chester County, 56 of which involved fentanyl, heroin, or prescription opioids. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania, overtaking car crashes, according to the Chester County Department of Drug and Alcohol Services.

On Saturday, Oct. 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Chester County is observing National Drug Take Back Day. Sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the program provides a safe opportunity for disposing of expired, unused, unwanted medication. Law-enforcement officials warn that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

According to national research, 75 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends or relatives, which should give people extra incentive to clean out their medicine cabinets. In addition, statistics suggest that one in five high school students has abused prescription drugs.

The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. The prescription drugs that are turned in at collection sites are boxed up in special containers and delivered to a DEA main collection site for safe disposal, which prevents them from polluting area waterways, another growing problem, according to police.

Area police departments that are participating in National Drug Take Back Day include the Kennett Township Police Department at 801 Burrows Run Road, Chadds Ford; and the New Garden Township Police Department, which will be set up at the Giant supermarket at 350 Scarlet Road in Kennett Square.

For more information about Medication Collection Boxes in Chester County, call 866-286-3767. To learn about collection sites that are being added to the list daily, visit www.DEA.gov.

Permanent collection boxes are available at dozens of county locations, including the Kennett Square Borough Police Department, 115 N. Broad Street, Kennett Square; the New Garden Township Police Department, 8934 Gap Newport Pike, Landenburg; the Chester County Sheriff’s Office at the Chester County Justice Center, 201 West Market Street, Suite 1201, West Chester; the West Goshen Township Police Department, 1025 Paoli Pike, West Chester; and the Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department, 1041 Wilmington Pike, West Chester.


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