On August 22, 2016, District Attorney John T. Adams announced the growing participation of police departments in the Pharmaceutical Drop Box Program. The following police departments and locations are new additions to this program:
Cumru Township Police Department - 1775 Welsh Road, Mohnton
- Hamburg Police Department - 61 North Third Street, Hamburg
- Western Berks Regional Police Department - sub-station at Robesonia Borough Hall, 75 South Brooke Street, Robesonia
In addition, Muhlenberg Police Department added another box at their police department due to the increased volume over the past year.
These departments join twenty-three other Berks County Police Departments participating in this successful program.
On March 7, 2013, Berks County District Attorney, John T. Adams, announces the launching of Berks County District Attorney's Pharmaceutical Drop Box Program in Berks County. This program was developed as a cooperative effort between the District Attorney's Office, the Council on Chemical Abuse (COCA), and the Berks County Solid Waste Authority.
The initiation of this program provides numerous benefits to the community. These benefits include:
- An opportunity to educate the community about the dangers these medications pose if left unwanted in homes or improperly discarded.
- A positive connection between Berks County citizens, the township police departments, the District Attorney's Office, the Council on Chemical Abuse and the Berks County Solid Waste Authority.
- A decrease of water contamination due to pharmaceutical medications being flushed down the drains in our homes, or contained in our landfills.
- A reduction of access to addictive medications for accidental or intentional misuse by children or others in the home.
Each drop box is securely placed and located within a township municipal police building where it can be protected. These drop boxes resemble a United States Postal Service mailbox, whereas there is an open door to collect medications, but once dropped they cannot be retrieved. Each box will also have a separate locked entry for District Attorney Detectives to retrieve the discarded medications. Inventoried medications will be incinerated at the discretion of the District Attorney's Detectives & Solid Waste Authority.
The following is a list of the police departments that are currently participating in the program:
Amity Township Police Department
- Bally Police Department
- Berks County Detectives @ the AG Center
- Bern Township Police Department
- Birdsboro Police Department
- Boyertown Police Department
- Brecknock Police Department
- Caernarvon Township Police Department
- Central Berks Regional Police Department
- Exeter Township Police Department
- Fleetwood Police Department
- Kutztown Police Department
- Muhlenberg Police Department
- Penn State Berks Campus
- Reading Police Department
- Shillington Police Department
- Sinking Spring Police Department
- Spring Township Police Department
- Tilden Township Police Department
- Tulpehocken Police Department
- Western Berks Regional Police Department
- West Reading Police Department
- Wyomissing Police Department
Also, the Berks County Coroner's Office participates in the program.
Currently in 2016, a total of 5297 pounds of pharmaceuticals were collected from the above listed drop boxes.
Over the past few years, the abuse of prescription medications has skyrocketed, which has correlated with an increase of heroin use. Tragically, this has led to unprecedented levels of overdose-related deaths in Berks County. The heroin epidemic has spread to our rural and suburban communities.
According to District Attorney Adams, "Prescription drug abuse is the number one gateway to heroin use. We will continue to expand our program to the Berks County Police Departments that want to engage directly with their communities in the fight against prescription drug abuse. This program will continue to benefit us for years to come".