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Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Joins Rite Aid to Launch In-Store Medication Disposal Unit

Lemoyne, PA – Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jennifer Smith today joined Rite Aid’s President and Chief Operating Officer Kermit Crawford, United States Representative Scott Perry, and State Representative Sheryl Delozier to launch the pharmacy’s first in-store medication disposal unit. Rite Aid’s unit – with a total of 100 planned at stores nationwide – joins the more than 730 prescription drug take-back boxes available in pharmacies, Pennsylvania State Police barracks, and local police and government offices around the commonwealth.

“As the Wolf Administration fights the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic, we need strong partnerships between the public and private sectors to maximize response on all fronts,” said Secretary Smith.  “Increasing availability and awareness of take-back boxes makes Pennsylvanians safer, and I thank Rite Aid for their commitment to fighting this crisis.”

Medication disposal units, or take-back boxes, allow people to take an active role in making their homes and communities safer by lowering the risk of prescription drug misuse. More than 52,000 pounds of prescription drugs have been disposed of in 2018. To date, 400,000 pounds of prescription drugs have been safely disposed of at Pennsylvania’s take-back boxes since 2014.

Secretary Smith encouraged Pennsylvanians with unused and unneeded medications to utilize this and other safe disposal units around Pennsylvania.

“Prescription drug misuse is a major catalyst for the heroin and opioid epidemic that we are fighting every day, and too many people with an opioid use disorder obtain medicine from family and friends’ medicine cabinets,” she said. “Disposing of medication is a small step that can make a big difference towards protecting yourself and loved ones. I strongly encourage all Pennsylvanians to look through your medicine cabinets, find old or unneeded medications, and locate a take-back box near you.”

A map of take-back box locations searchable by county and zip code can be found on the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs’ website.

For more information on the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania, visit www.pa.gov/opioids

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