AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – If you’ve been meaning to clean out your medicine cabinet, Saturday could be the day to do it.
On Saturday, a number of local police departments are teaming up with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency to collect unused and unwanted prescription drugs as part of a national take-back day.
The Austintown Police Department has its own drug collection box at its police station, and Patrolman Jeff Toth said he checks it every day to see what has been left in the box that’s in the lobby.
“Every day I empty it. Every day it needs to be emptied. Hundreds of pounds we collect,” he said.
Toth, who is the department’s D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer, is also in charge of the local drug take-back program in which residents can get rid of their old medications. Austintown was the first department in the Valley to offer a take-back program, and officers say it has been a success.
Now, they’re hoping the national drug take-back day will be an extra incentive to get those unwanted drugs destroyed before they get into the wrong hands.
“We’re just looking to get those meds outta the cabinets that can be dangerous to kids,” Toth said.
Police say initially the take-back idea was aimed at safely getting rid of old prescriptions, as well as preventing accidental poisonings — especially among children. But with the nation’s growing heroin overdose crisis, Toth says there is a renewed emphasis on cleaning out old pain medications.
“This is pre-planning, so trying to prevent addiction to medication,” Toth said.
Beaver Township Police Lt. Eric Dattilo says his department also has a year-round take back program, but he said the DEA’s effort isn’t wasted.
“I think it serves as a reminder twice a year that, ‘Hey, I have those prescription pills sitting in my cabinet and maybe I should go take them now that there is a take-back day,” he said.
The program runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Saturday. You can drop off your unwanted prescription drugs at the following participating locations:
- Boardman Police Department: 8299 Market St., Boardman
- Beaver Police Department: 601 W. South Range Rd., North Lima
- Springfield Township Police Department: 3475 E. South Range Rd., New Springfield
- Austintown Police Department: 92 Ohltown Rd., Youngstown
- Youngstown State University: 1 University Plaza, Youngstown
- New Middletown Police Department: 10711 Main St., New Middletown
- Liberty Township Police Department: 1315 Churchill-Hubbard Rd., Youngstown
- Cortland Police Department: 400 N. High St., Cortland
- Bazetta Township Police Department: 2671 McClearly Jacoby Road, Cortland
- Hubbard City Police Department: 233 School St., Hubbard
- Newton Falls Police Department: 19 N. Canal St., Newton Falls
- Columbiana County Drug Task Force: Salem Regional Medical Center, 1995 E. State St., Salem and East Liverpool City Hospital, 425 W. 5th St., East Liverpool
- Jamestown Police Department: Jamestown Pharmacy, 121 Liberty St., Jamestown
- Pennsylvania State Police Department: PSP Mercer Barracks, 826 Franklin Rd., Mercer and New Castle Barracks, 3539 New Wilmington Rd., New Castle
- Neshannock Police Department, 3151 Mercer Rd., New Castle
- Ellwood City Police Department: 525 Lawrence Ave., Ellwood City
More information on participating agencies is available on the DEA’s website.