Dispose of medicine safely through state program

By on February 6, 2014

Steven C. Mentzer, of Lancaster County, was elected to represent the citizens of the 97th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Before his election to office, Mentzer served as the treasurer of Manheim Township. He has also been heavily involved in a variety of humanitarian efforts, both locally and globally, since 2006. Visit repmentzer.com.

Steven C. Mentzer, of Lancaster County, was elected to represent the citizens of the 97th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Before his election to office, Mentzer served as the treasurer of Manheim Township. He has also been heavily involved in a variety of humanitarian efforts, both locally and globally, since 2006. Visit repmentzer.com.

Pennsylvania recently launched a permanent statewide drug take-back program that will provide up to 250 secure medicine return boxes throughout the Commonwealth. The new MedReturn boxes allow individuals to dispose of unused, unwanted and expired prescription and over-the-counter medication safely and anonymously.

Pennsylvania, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing an increase in the misuse of prescription medications, especially by young people. According to a 2011 survey, fourteen percent of young Pennsylvanians admitted to taking prescription drugs that were not prescribed to them and eighteen percent felt that prescription drugs were not harmful.

Prescription drug abuse has quadrupled in the past ten years and now results in more deaths than all illicit street drugs combined. Improper disposal of prescription drugs could also create environmental hazards, impacting groundwater and rivers and harming wildlife.

There are thirteen MedReturn boxes currently located in Lancaster County. The locations in the 97th District include the Lititz Borough Police Department at 7 S. Broad St. and the Manheim Township Police Department at 1825 Municipal Drive.

Medications accepted in the MedReturn boxes include vitamins, over the counter and pet medications, and prescriptions; including patches, ointments and medications. Items not accepted include needles, inhalers, aerosol cans and thermometers.

Under the program, all pharmaceutical drugs being disposed need to be in a sealed container, such as the original bottle or a zip-lock bag. They may not be disposed of loosely. Liquid pharmaceuticals should remain in the original container. Personal information should be removed or blotted out with a permanent marker.

The Healthy Pennsylvania Drug Take-Back initiative is a partnership between the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, which received a federal grant of $100,000 to purchase the boxes.

More information on the program and additional drop-off locations can be found at ddap.pa.gov.

Steven C. Mentzer, of Lancaster County, was elected to represent the citizens of the 97th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Before his election to office, Mentzer served as the treasurer of Manheim Township. He has also been heavily involved in a variety of humanitarian efforts, both locally and globally, since 2006. Visit repmentzer.com.

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