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Police Forces Will Collect Unwanted Medications

Law enforcement agencies in Southwestern Pennsylvania will be collecting expired and unwanted medications this Saturday.

The Allegheny County Police will have prescription drug receptacles available from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at its stations at North Park and South Park. The Pennsylvania State Police will collect medications at several locations during that same time frame.

Allegheny County Police Inspector Glenn Zilch said the federal government is working with local agencies for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

"What we'll do is collect them, we'll seal the containers, and the Drug Enforcement Agency, who we work with, they come around to each site, and they collect them, and they take them to their headquarters," said Zilch.

He said Allegheny County has taken part in all four National Prescription Drug Take Back Days, including Saturday's event. Zilch said hundreds of people come out each year to discard a "substantial" amount of drugs. Since the program's inception, the DEA has collected and disposed of about one million pounds of medication.

In a statement, State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan noted that more and more young people are abusing prescription drugs.

"The Drug Take Back Program encourages consumers to get outdated or unused medications off their shelves and out of the reach of children and teenagers," wrote Noonan.

Noonan said flushing prescription drugs can pollute water supplies, while throwing them away can result in groundwater contamination beneath landfills.

State police stations are offering free and anonymous drug dropoff in Armstrong, Beaver, Indiana, Lawrence, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland Counties.