Warren County police agencies including Youngsville, the City of Warren and Conewango Township will participate in the eighth annual National Drug-Take Back Initiative on Saturday April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Youngsville Police Chief Todd Mineweaser said during the drug-take back last October county law enforcement "removed over 337 pounds of unwanted, unused or expired potentially dangerous pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications."
"Every six months local law enforcement agencies from around the country coordinate our efforts with the DEA (U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency) to make this a success," he said. "This is an anonymous program and we don't ask questions. Our focus is to have removed as much of the potentially dangerous medicines from the homes as the expired and unused average blood pressure meds."
Warren General Hospital offers disposal container to collect needles
He explained that all pills, tablets, gel caps and liquids are accepted.
New this year, Warren General Hospital has offered to supply large 'sharps' containers for syringes and other items that may be contaminated with blood, as they already have a system in place for safe disposal. It will only be during this event, and not throughout the year.
"We want to keep our water systems safe as well as our homes," Mineweaser added. "Please do not flush your medicine. We will dispose of it for you."
Youngsville and Warren have collection boxes in their respective municipal buildings, and Conewango Township Police will collect drugs at Walmart.
Sharps represent a possible environmental hazard if they are not disposed of properly.
Mineweaser and Sgt. Brandon Deppen of Warren City Police indicated they would use the sharps disposal container provided by WGH during the take-back, as people frequently bring in syringes and the like.
For the long-term, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommends disinfecting used sharps with a solution of one teaspoon of bleach in one-half gallon of water.
There are a number of options for disposing sharps, including online services that include a secure container with prepaid shipping for returns. Additionally some pharmacies sell similar sharps containers, and they may be available through prescriptions that could be covered by insurance.
An even cheaper option, according to DEP, is to seal the sharps in opaque, puncture-resistant heavy plastic or metal containers, sealing the original lids with heavy duty tape and marking them "Do not recycle."
Place the tightly sealed container in a paper bag, and discard with household trash, and keep the containers out of the reach of children and animals.