10 locations around Chester County make it easier dispose of unwanted prescriptions
Chester County residents will now have 10 permanent locations all around the county to dispose of expired or unneeded prescription drugs, county District Attorney Tom Hogan announced Thursday.
The installation of medication collection boxes — which resemble mail boxes — allows for the easy, safe and secure dropoff of these medicines, keeping them out of the hands of would-be abusers or out of landfills and potentially, the water supply.
“These boxes are a Christmas gift to Chester County from law enforcement,” Hogan said in a statement. “Citizens can safely dispose of prescription drugs, keeping drugs out of the hands of our children and out of our water. Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in America. Chester County law enforcement IS committed to reducing drug abuse and keeping our environment safe.”
State Representative Becky Corbin (R-155) expressed her strong support of this program, and was on hand for the program’s announcement.
“Law enforcement across Chester County supports the medication collection program,” Corbin said. “This is the type of proactive program the community needs to help prevent addiction so that more lives are not destroyed by drug abuse.”
Local law enforcement officials welcomed the move as a step forward to fight drug abuse.
“Prescription drug abuse is rampant among young adults in Pennsylvania,” Parkesburg Borough Police Chief Brian Sheller, who is also the President of the Chester County Police Chiefs Association, said. “And too often, prescription drugs are a gateway to using illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine.”
According to Hogan, local residents can easily, conveniently and anonymously dispose of their medications in the boxes, which are designed like mailboxes.
The new boxes — and their availability, 24-hours a day, seven days a week, as opposed to specified drop-off days — encourages people to remove expired or unwanted medication from their homes, he noted. Further, he said, removing such medication reduces access to addictive drugs for accidental or intentional misuse by individuals, especially children. The medication disposal boxes also offer an environmentally safe, accessible, and convenient method of disposing of medication instead of placing dangerous drugs in the trash or sewer systems.
Not surprisingly, groups publicly battling drug abuse in the county applauded the move, including Kacie’s Cause — an organization dedicated to stopping heroin abuse among young people. The group was founded by Kennett Square resident Andy Rumford, whose daughter Kacie died from a heroin overdose in 2012.
Hogan said the new drop-off boxes are key in the shifting battle against drug abuse.
“The front line in the war on drugs has shifted from the dangerous street comers in the rough part of town to the medicine cabinet in your home,” he said. “More people die every year in the United States from prescription drug abuse than from illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin. Safely disposing of dangerous medications will save lives. These medication collection boxes are part of the District Attorney’s comprehensive effort to attack drug issues, including locking up dealers, treating addicts through Drug Court, and supporting Good Samaritan legislation to protect people who report overdoses.”
The medication collection boxes were obtained by the Chester County District Attorney’s Office through a grant from the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, and the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. The program will be administered by the police departments where the boxes are located and supervised by the Chester County Detectives.
The boxes are at the following locations:
1. Chester County Justice Center
Sheriff s Department
201 West Market Street, Suite 1201
West Chester, PA 19380
2. East Brandywine Township Police Department
1212 Horseshoe Pike
Downingtown, PA 19335
3. Kennett Square Borough Police Department
115 N. Broad Street
Kennett Square, P A 19348
4. New Garden Township Police Department
8934 Gap Newport Pike
Landenberg, PA 19350
5. North Coventry Township Police Department
845 South Hanover Street
Pottstown, P A 19464
6. Parkesburg Borough Police Department
315 W. First Avenue, Building 2
Parkesburg, PA 19365
7. Phoenixville Borough Police Department
351 Bridge Street
Phoenixville, P A 19460
8. West Goshen Township Police Department
1025 Paoli Pike
West Chester, P A 19382
9. West Whiteland Township Police Department
101 Commerce Drive
Exton, PA 19341
10. Westtown-East Goshen Regional Police Department
1041 Wilmington Pike
West Chester, PA 19382