On Thursday, March 7, 2013, District Attorney John T. Adams announced the launching of the Berks County Pharmaceutical Drop Box Initiative Program. 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.
Currently, the Berks County Solid Waste Authority, in conjunction with the Berks County District Attorney's Detectives, offers pharmaceutical collection twice a year. During these scheduled collections, unwanted and expired medications both prescription and over the counter medicines are collected for incineration. Medications are collected in many forms including: tablet, liquid, ointment, inhaler, powder or patch.
The pharmaceutical/medication drop box disposal program will allow Berks County residents to discard unused or unwanted medication year round at secure locations.
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 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 will be securely placed and locked 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 and Solid Waste Authority.
The following is a list of the police departments and locations that are participating in the program:
- Amity Twp. Police Department - 2004 Weavertown Road, Douglassville
- Bally Police Department - 425 Chestnut Street, Bally
- Bern Twp. Police Department - 1069 Old Bernville Road, Bern Twp.
- Birdsboro Police Department - 200 East Main Street, Birdsboro
- Boyertown Police Department - 100 S. Washington Street, Boyertown
- Brecknock Twp. Police Department - 889 Alleghenyville Road, Mohnton
- Caernarvon Twp. Police Department - 3307 Main Street, Morgantown
- Central Berks Regional Police Department - 2147 Perkiomen Avenue, Mt. Penn
- Berks County Detectives - Berks County AG Center, 1238 Welfare Road, Leesport
- Berks County Coroner's Office - 1047 MacArthur Road, Suite 200, Reading
- Exeter Twp. Police Department - 4975 DeMoss Road, Exeter
- Fleetwood Police Department - 110 West Arch Street, Fleetwood
- Kutztown Police Department - 45 Railroad Street, Kutztown
- Muhlenberg Twp. Police Department - 5401 Leesport Avenue, Muhlenberg
- Penn State University Berks Campus - Perkins Student Center
- Reading Police Department - 815 Washington Street, Reading
- Shillington Police Department - 2 W. Lancaster Avenue, Shillington
- Sinking Spring Police Department - 3940 Penn Avenue, Sinking Spring
- Spring Twp. Police Department - 2800 Shillington Road, Sinking Spring
- Tilden Township Police Department, 870 Hex Highway, Hamburg
- Tulpehocken Twp. Police Department - 22 Rehrersburg Road, Rehrersburg
- West Reading Police Department - 500 Chestnut Street, West Reading
- Western Berks Regional Police Department - 100 N. Reber Street, Wernersville
- Wyomissing Police Department - 22 Reading Boulevard, Wyomissing
District Attorney John T. Adams' Pharmaceutical Drop Box Collections for 2014 experienced a sixty-four (64%) percent increase from the previous year of 2013. In 2014, Berks County Detectives collected 5,517 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs in comparison to the 3,364 pounds collected in 2013. Part of the increase can be attributed to the addition of six additional Berks County Police Departments joining the program (Bally, Boyertown, Shillington, Tilden, West Reading & Wyomissing). Currently, there are twenty-four collection boxes throughout Berks County.
Over the past few years, the abuseof prescription medications has skyrocketed, which had 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."
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.
- Amity Township Police Department - 255 pounds
- Bally Police Department - 48 pounds
- Berks County Coroner's Office - 375 pounds
- Berks County Detectives - 155 pounds
- Bern Township Police Department - 156 pounds
- Birdsboro Police Department - 57 pounds
- Boyertown Police Department - 20 pounds
- Brecknock Township Police Department - 18 pounds
- Caernarvon Township Police Department - 177 pounds
- Central Berks Regional Police Department - 65 pounds
- Exeter Township Police Department - 1148 pounds
- Fleetwood Police Department - 354 pounds
- Kutztown Police Department - 208 pounds
- Muhlenberg Township Police Department - 948 pounds
- Penn State Berks Campus - 66 pounds
- Reading Police Department - 108 pounds
- Shillington Police Department - 69 pounds
- Sinking Spring Police Department - 179 pounds
- Spring Township Police Department - 764 pounds
- Tilden Township Police Department - 1 pound
- Tulpehocken Police Department - 36 pounds
- Western Berks Regional Police Department - 113 pounds
- West Reading Police Department - 57 pounds
- Wyomissing Police Department - 140 pounds