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5 Things to Know About Prescription Drugs in Your Home

A “Take Back” Day to collect expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs will be held Saturday.

1. A local “Take Back” Day to collect expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs will be held across Lehigh County from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

You can safely dispose of old medicines by taking them to the South Whitehall Township Police Department, 4444 Walbert Ave., South Whitehall, and to Wegmans3900 Tilghman St., Allentown. Police officers will accept controlled, non-controlled and over-the-counter medications as part of a nationwide “Take Back” program. Local participation is led by the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office, Allentown Health Bureau, police, and other organizations.

2. Remove any personal information from bottles or packages that contain medications. Liquid products and creams in containers will be accepted.

3. Sharpies and syringes will not be accepted because of the potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens. Illegal substances, such as marijuana and methamphetamine, are not part of the program and should not be placed in the collection boxes.

4. Keeping expired or unused medicine can be dangerous. “People can mistake one medication for another, especially if  the names of the medications are close,” said Vicky Kistler, director of the Allentown Health Bureau. Having excess medications stored in homes “also can provide the opportunity for curious youths to experiment with dangerous drugs with serious consequences,” she added.

5. In 2010, police officers in Lehigh County collected 192.47 pounds of pills and capsules, including pain-killers, appetite suppressants, anxiety-relievers, vitamins and pet medications.

The total collected in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks and Schuylkill counties, which are in the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration Allentown Resident territory, was 561.29 pounds. In Pennsylvania, almost 3 tons of medications were picked up by the National Guard and taken to an incinerator out of state to be burned.

Here is a complete list of “Take Back” locations in Lehigh County:

  • Alburtis Police Department, 260 Franklin St., Alburtis;
  • Berks-Lehigh Police Department, 37 Grim Road, Breinigsville;
  • Bethlehem Police Department Substation, 434 W. Broad St., Bethlehem;
  • Catasauqua Police Department, 118 Bridge St., Catasauqua;
  • Emmaus Police Department, 400 Jubilee St., Emmaus;
  • Fountain Hill Police Department, 941 Long St., Fountain Hill;
  • Giant supermarket, Route 309, Coopersburg, Coopersburg Police Officers will be stationed at the store;
  • Lower Milford Township Police Department, 7607 Chestnut Hill Road, Coopersburg;
  • Macungie Police Department, 21 Locust St., Macungie;
  • Pennsylvania State Police Troop M, Bethlehem, 2930 Airport Road, Bethlehem;
  • Salisbury Township Police Department, 3000 South Pike Ave., Salisbury Township;
  • Slatington Police Department, 125 S. Walnut St., Slatington;
  • South Whitehall Township Police Department, 4444 Walbert Ave., South Whitehall Township;
  • Upper Saucon Township Police Department, 5500 Camp Meeting Road, Center Valley;
  • Wegmans, 3900 Tilghman St., Allentown. Allentown Police Officers will be stationed at the store;
  • Whitehall Township Police Department, 3731 Lehigh St., Whitehall.

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