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The Allegheny County Police Department will participate in the federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Take-Back Initiative being held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24, a spokesperson said.
This is the DEA’s 20th bi-annual event focused on offering an opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement officers for destruction.
Any over-the-counter, controlled substance or prescription-required drugs can be dropped off. Tables, capsules, ointments, creams and liquids will be accepted in packaging. There is no need to take medicines out of the original package or container. Sharps and syringes cannot be accepted due to safety reasons, the county said.
“We know that the United States has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans,” said Christopher Kearns, county police superintendent. “Locally, there have been 674 overdose deaths in the county alone during 2020. Everything that we can do to remove medications from the hands of people other than those to which they were prescribed is a positive step.”
The April 24 collection will be held at the Wilmerding police substation, 315 Station St., as well as at the North Park and South Park county police stations.
The event is absolutely anonymous, and no questions or requests for identification will be made by law enforcement personnel to anyone submitting medications, the spokesperson said.
Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not part of this initiative and should not be placed in collection boxes.
The October 2020 event resulted in collections of close to 500 tons of medicines. In the history of the event, more than 6,800 tons of unwanted medicines have been collected by various partners with the DEA.
Originally published April 15, 2021.