PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — They are in your medicine cabinet, or your nightstand drawer, a temptation to the addicted.
“Most of the misuse and abuse of the drugs happens, not on the streets, but in the medicine cabinet in the home,” says Michael Stepaniak, from the Pennsylvania Resource Council. “Friends, neighbors, people doing open houses for realty business, they’ll go through medicine cabinets and take drugs.”
Eight years ago, the PRC started the first Drug Take Back Day and collected 70-pounds of pills that day. Since then, the DEA has adopted the idea nationwide.
At the PRC’s three locations on Saturday, Stepaniak expects, “We’ll probably bring in 500 to 600 pounds.”
Stepaniak says the old-fashioned way of flushing old medicines is an environmental nightmare because treatment plants aren’t equipped to handle them.
“There’s a chemical soup that enters the river,” he says.
As you grab a bag and collect your old pills, you have options. You can return them bottles and all, scratch out your name on the bottle, or Stepaniak says, “Empty all the pills and capsules into a Ziplock bag, that’s fine as well.”
Police will secure your drop-off, and then hand it over to the DEA where he says, “Everything is incinerated in a controlled way.”
Stepaniak says this is a critical point.
“It’s anonymous. No questions asked. Free of charge. And it’s a terrific opportunity to get rid of things you probably shouldn’t have sitting around the house,” he said.
All locations will be collecting from 10 a.m. Saturday morning until 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
The PRC’s three locations are:
- Green Tree Borough Building – 10 W. Manilla Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15220
- Mt. Lebanon Medical Rescue Team South – 315 Cypress Way, Mt Lebanon, PA 15228
- The Mall at Robinson – (near the old Sears store)
Drop-off sites will also be set up at all six Pittsburgh Police Zones, Police Headquarters, and the Phillips Recreation Center on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Pittsburgh Bureau of Police Headquarters – 1203 Western Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15233
- Phillips Recreation Center – 201 Parkfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15210. (Note: This Take Back site will operate from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.)
- Zone 1 – 1501 Brighton Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
- Zone 2 – 2000 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
- Zone 3 – 830 East Warrington Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15210
- Zone 4 – 5858 Northumberland Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15217
- Zone 5 – 1401 Washington Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15206
- Zone 6 -312 S. Main Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15220
The Allegheny County Police Department will also participate in Drug Take Back Day on Saturday. Expired, unwanted, or unused medications will be collected at three separate locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- North Park Police Station – 700 West Ridge Drive, McCandless
- South Park Police Station – 1801 Brownsville Road, South Park
- Wilmerding Police Substation – 315 Station Street, Wilmerding
There are many many other locations across the region. To find those, visit this link, and enter your zip code and the locations near you will be listed.