County’s drug take back program picks up steam

The Drug Take Back Initiative in Warren County is proving to be one of the most successful in the state.

According to statistics provided by the federal Department of Justice and release to local law enforcement on Friday, the four take back sites in Warren County collected just shy of 554 pounds of prescription drugs on April 26.

That is significantly higher than the three of the four surrounding counties. McKean County, with one collection site, totaled almost 47 pounds; Crawford County, with three sites, totaled 59 pounds; and Forest County, with two sites, collected 27 pounds.

Erie County, with eight sites, collected 1,618 pounds.

Youngsville Police Chief Todd Mineweaser, who provided the statistics to the Times Observer, noted that Warren County’s collections have steadily increased thanks to aggressive promotion of the program and the expansion of collection sites.

The April 26 collections were held by Conewango Township Police at Walmart in North Warren; Pennsylvania State Police at Warren Barracks in Starbrick; City of Warren Police at Third Avenue municipal building; and Youngsville Borough Police at Railroad Street municipal building.

Across the state, several counties with much higher populations, collected far less than Warren County. For instance, Lawrence County, which operated five collection sites and has a population approximately twice that of Warren County, collected less than half as much as the local effort, with 249 pounds.

In all, some 37,715 pounds of drugs were collected in Pennsylvania on that day, contributing to the 390 tons of pills and other medications collected at 6,072 sites operated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and 4,423 state and local law enforcement agencies.

The next take back will be scheduled near the end of September. An exact date will be announced closer to the take back.