Chester County Collected Nearly 3 Tons of Unused Prescription Drugs in 2021

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WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County District Attorney’s Office reports that the County’s Medication Drop-Off program collected 2.9 tons of unused prescription drugs in 2021. That is a 23% increase from 2020, when 2.3 tons were collected.

DA Deb Ryan said, “Unfortunately, we saw a sharp decrease in drug collections during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, so I am encouraged to see the numbers rising again. We are grateful to all the Chester County residents for their efforts to turn in prescription drugs they no longer need. This is a critical initiative that helps stop the spread of drug abuse.”

Chester County Chief of Detectives David M. Sassa said, “The Medication Drop-Off program is a community effort that requires residents to drop off the drugs, local law enforcement to collect the drugs, and elected officials who sponsor the Drug Take-Back events. We thank them all.”

Twenty-eight permanent drug disposal boxes are located around the county in police stations, Chester County Hospital, and Paoli Hospital. The boxes are secured and maintained by local law enforcement, with recovered prescriptions being turned over to Chester County Detectives for disposal.

The Medication Drop-Off program was started in 2014 by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association to curb the abuse of prescription drugs, especially oxycodone. Since then, nearly 19 tons of unused or outdated medications have been turned in countywide, with 650 pounds collected just since the beginning of 2022.

Eligible drugs include prescription and over-the-counter medications, tablets and capsules, prescription patches, medical creams and ointments, vitamins, nasal sprays, pet medications, and liquid medications in the original bottle. Intravenous solutions, hydrogen peroxide, compressed cylinders or aerosols, iodine-containing medications, thermometers, and alcohol are not accepted. Injectibles, syringes, and needles (i.e., EpiPens) should be taken to a doctor’s office or hospital for proper disposal.

To find the nearest medication dropbox in Chester County, go to chesco.org/2673/Medication-Drop-Off.

Need help? Click here for treatment and support services offered by Chester County’s Department of Drug & Alcohol Services or call 1-866-286-3767.

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