DruJ GrRS-RII ERx DGGHG DW FrDncRnLD TRwnsKLS PROLcH DHSDrWPHnW
There’s no total tally for all that’s come in so far to the prescription drug dropoff box at the Souderton Police Department, but less than a half year after the collection box became available, it’s obviously being used.
“Right now, I think we’re up to 14 or 15 pounds,” said Kristin Messina, project coordinator for the Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition.
Those are all drugs that could have gotten out into the community and into the wrong hands, but now won’t, Character Counts DQG SROLFH RIfiFLDOV VDy.
A new drop-off box was added at the Franconia Township Police Department Sept. 7.
“Periodically, I will be checking it and when the ERx LV fiOOHG, , wLOO EH WDNLQJ it to be destroyed and we don’t have to worry about prescription medicine being out on the street,” said Franconia police Detective Steven Cronin.
The boxes are for the disposal of old, unused or expired prescription drugs.
“You cannot put in syringes or sharp items. Nothing containing blood-borne pathogens and no illegal drugs,” Cronin said. “It’s for prescription medicines only.”
“It’s anonymous and free,” for those making the drop-offs, Messina said. “They come in, they drop and they leave.”
The Souderton and Franconia drop-offs are among WKH fiRVW RQHV RIIHRHG LQ Montgomery County, Messina said.
Dropoffs at the Souderton one, which is attached to the outside of the police station on Summit Street, can be made any time. The Franconia one, which is in the lobby of the police station on Allentown Road, is available 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, Cronin said.
In the past, many people have simply kept unused drugs or disposed of the medicines in ways that aren’t environmentally friendly.
“Don’t throw it in the trash can,” Cronin said. “DRQ’W flUVK LW GRwQ WKH toilet.”
In a survey of Souder- ton Area School District students in grades eight, 10 and 12, 67 percent said it would be easy for them to get prescription drugs, DonnaLea Pyrz, Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition program director, said.
“That’s a high percent- age,” Pyrz said. “It’s frightening.”
The survey results are reported in the Character Counts 2012 Student Support Card.
The Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition assisted in getting both the Souderton and Franconia drop-off boxes.
Souderton Area High School senior Dan O’Hara raised about $1,200 for the $900 purchase price, plus advertising costs, for the Franconia box, Pyrz said.
O’Hara, who did the project for his senior project, also observed Montgomery County Drug Court and interviewed a pharmacist and SAHS Principal Sam Varano and talked to FBI and federal Drug Enforcement Administration RIfiFHRV DERUW SRHVFRLSWLRQ drug abuse.
“I’m just really glad we could do a project that wRUOG EHQHfiW WKH FRPPUnity for my senior project and one that will have an ongoing, lasting effect on the community,” O’Hara said. “I’m just glad that I could help out.”
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, the Souderton and Franconia dropoffs will also be part of the fiIWK 1DWLRQDO 3RHVFRLSWLRQ Drug Take-Back Day. Last year, more than 1.5 million pounds of drugs nationwide were taken out of circulation by the collection, according to information provided by Character Counts.
While the group is encouraging people who have unused or expired prescription drugs to take part in the Sept. 29 drop-off, the boxes also make it possible to bring the drugs in any time, Messina said.
“We’re hoping the community remembers it’s not just once a year, but several times a year,” she said.
The boxes are available to anyone, not just Souderton and Franconia residents.
A food drive for Keystone Opportunity Center will also be held at the Souderton police station 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29.
“It’s a little bit more of a community event than just bringing your prescriptions,” Souderton Borough Council member Steven Toy said. “You’re giving back to the community. That’s what it’s all about. You’re helping other people.”
From left, Kristin Messina, Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition project coordinator; Dan O’Hara, a Souderton Area High School senior; DonnaLea Pyrz, Indian Valley Character Counts! Coalition program director; and Franconia Township Police...