HARRISBURG, Pa.-- The Wolf Administration is continuing to work on helping people properly dispose of unwanted and unused prescription medications.
On Monday they unveiled a brand new prescription drug take back box in the lobby of the Rachel Carson State Office Building on Market Street, in Harrisburg.
According to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP), most people who abuse prescription drugs take them from medicine cabinets, so keeping unused opioids and other abusive drugs in your cabinets is not safe.
Health officials say drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death, and an estimated 12.5 million people misuse opioids.
Representatives from Geisinger Health say that patients keep drugs for years after they need them, this drug take back box will help get rid of them. Health officials say 39% of younger people get abusive drugs from a family member in their household.
You can bring prescription, over the counter medications, and met medicines to the boxes. However there are some items you cannot drop off, those include-- hydrogen peroxide, needles, and illicit drugs like LSD and marijuana. Officials are asking for the drugs you drop off to be in a sealed container or a zip lock bag.
DDAP says since the program began in 2016, they have destroyed over 44,000 pounds of unused medications. In all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties there's a total of roughly 800 boxes, this is the second box to be installed in the state capitol complex.
Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and the Department of General Services (DGS) were also at the unveiling.
Officials say getting rid of your drugs by using the take back box also protects the water and the environment, rather than improperly flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away in ther trash.
You can find a prescription box near you by typing in your zip code here. You can dispose of your unwanted and unused prescriptions at the Rachel Carson building Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m., until 6:00 p.m.