The National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative held on April 28 appears to have been a success.
Throughout Warren County, 291 pounds of "expired, unused, or unwanted pharmaceuticals" were collected, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Administration.
There were four collection sites around the county Russell, Warren, Youngsville and Grand Valley that were staffed by the Warren County Sheriff's Office, Warren City Police and Youngsville Borough Police.
"I think as we get more departments involved, it will grow," Youngsville Borough Police Chief Todd Mineweaser said Tuesday. "Some people don't want to travel from Sheffield to Youngsville with the price of fuel."
The 291 pounds that were collected was down slightly from October of last year when 339 pounds were collected.
The Initiative, sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration, netted 36,113.92 pounds of medication throughout the day in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Of the total, 29,305 pounds came from Pennsylvania.
Bucks County brought in the highest total among Pennsylvania counties at 4,396 pounds.
"On April 28th, citizens turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories," the DEA statement said. "With the continued support and hard work of our state, local law enforcement and community partners, the four events have dramatically reduced the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, and increased awareness of this critical public health issue."
While progress is being made, Mineweaser said that there are still aspects of the take back program that can be improved.
"We need to get our local pharmacies on board as co-sponsors. Youngsville Pharmacy was a co-sponsor for us and handed out fliers to customers," Mineweaser explained. "Our local funeral directors need to be aware of this program. When a loved one passes, that is one less thing the family should have to worry about, is what to do with the medications. Bring them to us."
"We want the medicine out of the homes and water supply," he added.