A new location to safely DROP prescription drugs

District Attorney Jack Whelan and County Council partner with Crozer to install a medicine drop box


District Attorney Jack Whelan and Councilman Dave White, co-chairs of the Delaware County Heroin Task Force, joined Michael Curran, president of Crozer-Chester Medical Center on May 15 to unveil the newly installed permanent Medicine Drop Box at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

The Drop Boxes are a secure location for residents to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs that can be lethal when they fall into the wrong hands. Residents can safely dispose of prescription medications and be reassured that no one will steal them out of their medicine chest, and that they will be disposed of properly without harming the water supply. Medicine can be disposed of in the boxes anonymously, for free, at any time during the year.

"Since forming the Heroin Task Force in September 2012, we've learned about the drugs that lead to heroin use, particularly opioid pain relievers. By getting unwanted medications out of our homes we can reduce the number of pills that may get into the wrong hands and prevent addiction," said Councilman Dave White.

Studies show that residential supplies of pharmaceutical controlled substances are the supply of choice to young people and criminals. These medications are effective when used properly, but many are highly addictive and dangerous when abused. Some individuals who misuse prescription medications, particularly teenagers, believe these substances are safer than illicit drugs because they are prescribed by a doctor or dentist, and dispensed by a pharmacist. Commonly abused medications include pain relievers such as OxyContin and Percocet.

"Prescription drugs are often the target of theft and misuse. Statistics show that many young people become addicted opioids by first taking a prescription drug which they get from medicine cabinets of their parents, their grandparents and friends," said District Attorney Jack Whelan. "One way to prevent addiction is to offer convenient, secure and environmentally safe drug disposal programs to decrease the supply of unused prescription drugs in the home."

Medications in standard containers can be deposited into the drop boxes. Loose medications can be put in plastic bags. Liquid medications should be enclosed in secure containers.

The Heroin Task Force began installing Medicine Drop Boxes in October 2013. Today there is a drop box at almost every police station in Delaware County, as well as a box located at the Government Center in Media and Riddle Memorial Hospital.

To date, more than 12,000 pounds of medications have been collected through the drop box program. Crozer is the second hospital to receive a Drop Box. The Heroin Task Force has been working with area hospitals to create partnerships to help prevent and treat addiction.

"Delaware County Council has been a tremendous partner to Crozer-Keystone in our efforts to reduce substance abuse and addiction in the county. We are proud to work together again to implement this prescription drug drop box at Crozer-Chester Medical Center as a resource to our patients and members of the community," says Michael Curran, president of Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

Crozer-Chester Medical Center, based in Upland, is part of the Crozer-Keystone Health System, the largest health care provider and employer in Delaware County. Crozer-Keystone is a regional leader in behavioral health, substance abuse and addiction care.

Delaware County worked with Crozer earlier in the year to launch First Steps Treatment Center. Supported by more than $940,000 in funding from Delaware County Council, Crozer opened First Steps Treatment Center, a 52-bed center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, dedicated to comprehensively addressing the detoxification and rehabilitation needs of resdents in Delaware County and the region. Since opening in February 2017, First Steps has served more than 200 patients.

In 2016, County Council launched the Delaware County Certified Recovery Specialist Program, which connects residents who have overdosed to treatment and resources. Three Recovery Specialists, managed by Crozer-Keystone are available to assist residents around the clock. The Recovery Specialists have engaged and outreached to over 1,000 people and averaging about 3 calls a day.

"We have been aggressively fighting the heroin and opioid epidemic since 2012 and our Heroin Task Force works each and every day to help prevent addiction, saves lives and get residents into recovery," said White. "It is truly a team effort to win this battle and we value the partnership with Crozer and their dedication towards helping our residents and saving lives."

Residents can reach a Certified Recovery Specialist by calling: 610-497-7278. Residents can contact the First Steps Treatment Center by calling 1-877-CK-STEPS (1-877-257-8377) or visit crozerkeystone.org/firststeps.




Crozer serves as a new location to safely DROP prescription drugs

District Attorney Jack Whelan (right) and Councilman Dave White (middle) Co-Chairs of the Delaware County Heroin Task Force, joined Michael Curran, president of Crozer-Chester Medical Center (left) on May 15 to unveil a Medical Drop at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland. Residents can safely dispose of unwanted or expired prescription drugs anonymously, free of charge and at any time. The Heroin Task Force began installing the Medicine Drop Boxes in 2014 and now have one at every police station across the county, at the Government Center in Media and at Riddle Memorial Hospital. To date, the Task Force has collected over 12,000 lbs. of medication.