Lehigh County police departments collected 828 pounds of unused and expired medications during the fourth National Take Back Day drug collection event on April 28, 2012.
A press release from the district attorney's office said at 17 sites in Lehigh County, police collected 52 boxes of medications. The total collected in Lehigh County during the last four events is more than one ton – 2,274 pounds.
In total, Upper Saucon, Lower Milford and Coopersburg collected 168.7 pounds of unused drugs, which filled 10 boxes. Upper Saucon police collected the most pounds in Southern Lehigh at their site, a total of 116 pounds of medication, the second most in the Lehigh Valley.
The event was coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration, the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office, the Allentown Health Bureau and police departments.
“Overdose deaths have escalated in the last decade, often because of abuse and misuse of prescription painkillers,” said District Attorney James B. Martin. “Misuse and abuse of these drugs and other medications accumulated in people’s homes have caused an increase in hospital emergency room visits and treatment admissions for teens and adults. Some of these people have become addicted to drugs that are legal and not dangerous if used properly.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration said the boxes are taken to an incinerator.
Below is a list of the 17 collection sites in Lehigh County and the amounts collected at each:
- Alburtis Police Department, 260 Franklin St., Alburtis, 1 box, 9.30 pounds;
- Catasauqua Police Department, 118 Bridge St., Catasauqua, 1 box, 19 pounds;
- Emmaus Police Department, 400 Jubilee St., Emmaus, 4 boxes, 52.80 pounds;
- Episcopal House, 1440 Walnut St., Allentown. Allentown police will collect medications, 2 boxes, 27.30 pounds;
- Fountain Hill Police Department, 941 Long St., Fountain Hill, 1 box, 8.80 pounds;
- Giant supermarket, 3015 W. Emmaus Ave., Allentown. Allentown police will collect medications, 7 boxes, 96 pounds;
- Giant supermarket, 216 E. Fairmont St., Route 9, Coopersburg. Coopersburg police will collect medications, 2 boxes, 36 pounds;
- Lower Milford Township Police Department, 7607 Chestnut Hill Church Road, 1 box, 16.70 pounds;
- Macungie Police Department, 21 Locust St., Macungie, 2 boxes, 51.50 pounds;
- Salisbury Township Police Department, 3000 S. Pike Ave., Salisbury Township, 1 box, 14. 40 pounds;
- Slatington Police Department, 125 S. Walnut St., Slatington, 2 boxes, 26.40 pounds;
- South Whitehall Township Police Department, 4444 Walbert Ave., South Whitehall Township, 8 boxes, 128 pounds;
- Target, entrance at 912 Airport Center Road, Airport Shopping Plaza, Hanover Township, Lehigh County. Pennsylvania State Police Troop M, Bethlehem, will be collecting medications, 2 boxes, 27.5 pounds;
- Upper Macungie Township Municipal Building, 8330 Schantz Road, U. Macungie Township. Berks-Lehigh Regional Police officers will collect medications, 5 boxes, 112 pounds;
- Upper Saucon Township Police Department, 5500 Camp Meeting Road, Center Valley, 7 boxes, 116 pounds;
- Westgate Mall, main entrance, 2285 Schoenersville Road, Bethlehem. Bethlehem police officers will collect medications, 2 boxes, 50 pounds; and
- Whitehall Township Police Department, 3731 Lehigh St., Whitehall Township, 4 boxes, 36.20 pounds.