Did you know that you can help stop illegal drug abuse in our region by simply going through your medicine cabinet and properly disposing of any unused prescriptions medications you may have?
Now, an initiative called Project D.U.M.P. (Disposal of Unused Medications Properly) makes it easier than ever to do so. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your home. With one quick call to the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office’s special hotline, you can schedule to have an “evidence technician” from the Sheriff’s Office come and pick up any unwanted prescription medications right at your doorstep.
“All you have to do is call us and we’ll come pick it up,” explains Allegheny County Sheriff William P. Mullen. “We’ll set up time and date to come to your home when it’s convenient for you then we’ll send a uniformed officer in a marked vehicle.”
According to Allegheny County Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams, more people died last year in Allegheny County from drug overdoses than from homicides, suicides and car accidents combined. Project D.U.M.P. is aimed specifically at preventing addiction, overdose and burglaries due to drugs.
“We’re aware that older adults don’t necessarily like dropping off their medications somewhere, but flushing it down the toilet is not good, nor is it safe to throw them in your trash or keep them in your home for others to access,” Sheriff Mullen says. “Because of the opioid crisis in our region, homes are being burglarized for narcotics. This project aims to keep unused and expired drugs out of the hands of individuals who are susceptible to drug abuse, and out of reach from your grandchildren or other young children who might be coming into your home.”
A majority of prescription drug abusers report stealing opioid and narcotic medications (such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet) from their family and friends. The misuse of these prescription pain relievers can lead to dependence, addiction, heroin use, overdose and death.
To schedule a pick-up, call Deputy Joe Cirigliano at (412) 459-5000.
Project D.U.M.P. is available to residents living in Allegheny County. To learn more, visit sheriffalleghenycounty.com and click on “Project D.U.M.P.”
By Gina Mazza
For Pittsburgh Senior News