Pennsylvania Places Drug Take-Back Boxes at State Police Barracks
Sixty-five take-back boxes are now available at State Police barracks. "By providing convenient, easily accessed drug take-back boxes, we hope to continue to significantly reduce the number of prescriptions drugs being used for purposes other than those intended," Gov. Tom Wolf said Sept. 19.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf today announced Sept. 19 an expanded effort to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic by expanding the availability of drug take-back boxes. He announced at Pennsylvania State Police Troop H headquarters in Harrisburg that 65 prescription drug take-back boxes are now available at State Police barracks across the state. State Police Commissioner Tyree Blocker and Acting Secretary for the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Jennifer Smith helped to unveil one of the boxes.
"It's imperative that we do all that we can to help staunch the flow of devastation the heroin and opioid epidemic is having on our state," Wolf said. "By providing convenient, easily accessed drug take-back boxes, we hope to continue to significantly reduce the number of prescriptions drugs being used for purposes other than those intended. I thank CVS/Pharmacy for its generous donation of these newest take-back boxes."
According to his news release, there are more than 700 drug take-back boxes in the state and more than 300,000 pounds of drugs have been destroyed so far. Other initiatives implemented during the past two years include:
Setting up more than 45 treatment centers that will treat individuals with substance use disorder
Expanding Medicaid to more Pennsylvanians, which now covers substance use disorder care for more than 125,000 Pennsylvanians
Securing a $26.5 million federal grant to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services to battle the opioid epidemic
Equipping law enforcement, first responders, and schools with the overdose-reversing antidote naloxone and reversing nearly 4,000 heroin and opioid overdoses since 2014
Issuing a standing order — a prescription written for the general public, rather than specifically for an individual — for overdose-reversing antidote naloxone
Strengthening the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which enables health care providers to safely prescribe controlled substances to their patients; the release says 90,000 physicians have conducted more than 1 million searches since the program became operational in 2016.
Announcing improved prescribing guidelines for the safe and effective use of opioids, including in sports medicine, for minors, and Pennsylvanians on Medicaid, as well as improving education for medical professionals on opioid prescribing
Starting a 24/7 helpline, 1-800-662-HELP, for those who need immediate assistance with drug and alcohol problems. More than 15,000 Pennsylvanians have contacted the helpline thus far for assistance.