A record number of medications were collected in Lehigh County Saturday during the seventh national Drug Take Back Day.
Residents dropped off 2,014 pounds of expired and unused prescription and over the counter medications at 17 sites around the county.
The event was coordinated by the Lehigh County District Attorney's Office, area police departments, the Allentown Health Bureau, Pa. state police, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Since 2010, the DEA has coordinated seven take-back days. During those seven days, Lehigh County officials have collected 6,840 pounds, or nearly 3 1/2 tons of medications.
DEA personnel collect the boxes of medicines at all sites and take them to an incinerator where they are burned.
Properly disposing of unwanted or expired medications serves several purposes:
* Prevents poisoning of children and pets
* Deters misuse by teenagers and adults
* Avoids health problems from accidentally taking the wrong medicine, too much of the same medicine, or a medicine that is too old to work well
* Keeps medicines from entering streams and rivers when poured down the drain or flushed down the toilet
The totals for the 17 sites collecting medicines in Lehigh County are as follows:
• Catasauqua Police Department, 118 Bridge St., Catasauqua, 29 pounds;
• Emmaus Police Department, 400 Jubilee St., Emmaus, 195 pounds;
• Alburtis Police Department, 260 Franklin St., Alburtis, 15 pounds;
• Macungie Police Department, 21 Locust St., Macungie, 88.5 pounds;
• South Mall, 3300 Lehigh St., Salisbury Township police collected 75 pounds;
• Giant supermarket, 3015 W. Emmaus Ave., Allentown police and the Allentown Health Bureau collected 227 pounds;
• Walgreen’s Pharmacy, 1702 W. Tilghman St., Allentown. Allentown police and the Allentown Health Bureau collected 523 pounds;
• Fountain Hill Police Department, 941 Long St., Fountain Hill, 6.5 pounds;
• Giant supermarket pharmacy, 216 E. Fairmount St. and Route 309, Coopersburg police collected 84.5 pounds;
• Upper Saucon Township Police Department, 5500 Camp Meeting Road, Center Valley, 73 pounds;
• Slatington Police Department, 125 S. Walnut St., Slatington, 99.5 pounds;
• South Whitehall Township Police Department, 4444 Walbert Ave., 172.5 pounds;
• Target, 912 Airport Center Road, Airport Shopping Plaza, Hanover Township, Lehigh County. Pennsylvania State Police, 51.5 pounds;
• Upper Macungie Township Police Department, 37 Grim Road, Upper Macungie Township, 113.5 pounds;
• Westgate Mall, 2285 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem police collected 156 pounds;
• Whitehall Township Police Department, 3731 Lehigh St., Whitehall Township, 99 pounds; and
• Lower Milford Township Police Department, 7607 Chestnut Hill Church Road,
Coopersburg, 5.6 pounds.
“The huge volume clearly shows that residents are aware of the dangers of keeping expired and unused medications in their homes and that they want to dispose of them properly,” said Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin.