Dauphin County to Hold National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at the County's Recycling Center on October 27,  New, secure prescription drug disposal box to be installed in downtown Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, PA (October 24, 2018) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III the county’s Criminal Investigation Division (CID) will join communities across the nation in hosting a prescription drug take-back day on Saturday, Oct. 27. The take-back event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the county’s recycling center.

“Prescription drugs are oftentimes the very first drugs people abuse,” said Hartwick. “We’re hosting this event to prevent unused and potentially dangerous drugs from getting into the wrong hands and being misused. Too many people, many of them young, are losing their lives to opioid abuse.”

According to the 2017 Dauphin County Coroner’s Report, 104 people died of a drug overdose, up from 85 in 2016.

“Take a moment to check your medicine cabinet and safely dispose of prescriptions that are no longer needed,” said Pries, who has oversight of the county’s recycling center. “Anyone can drop off prescription medications - no questions asked.”

According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.2 million Americans abused controlled medications. The study also showed that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

To prevent prescription drug misuse, the commissioners and district attorney in 2013 partnered with area police departments to set up drug disposal boxes at eight locations throughout the county. Thanks to a partnership between the county’s CID and Harrisburg City Police Department, a new drug disposal box will be placed in the lobby of Harrisburg City Hall and available for public use in about a month. The county is pursuing grant funding to cover the $998 cost of the secure drop-off box.

“Rather than tossing prescription drugs in the trash or dumping them down the sink, safely dispose of medications at our take-back day or a drop-off location,” said Haste. “We need to do everything we can to save lives.”

In 2017, a total of 2,231 lbs. of prescription drugs were collected at the eight locations. A total of 1,718.50 lbs. of medications were collected in 2016. So far this year, 1,449.50 lbs. have been safely discarded in the boxes.

Detectives with CID empty the collection boxes monthly and hold the drugs in a secure location before they are destroyed.

“We know that kids can be tempted to try pills they find in their family’s medicine cabinet,’’ said District Attorney Fran Chardo. “Disposing of these drugs in a safe, responsible way may help keep kids safe.”

Located off S. Cameron Street in Harrisburg, inside the Susquehanna Resource Management Complex, the Dauphin County Recycling Center, where the take-back event will be held, offers a convenient drop-off location for electronics, household appliances, mercury thermostats and thermometers and more. The facility is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday, except for holidays.

The following eight locations have secure disposal boxes:

Steelton Police Department

123 North Front Street

Steelton, 17113


Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F


Dauphin County Sheriff's Office

County Courthouse

101 Market Street

Harrisburg 17101


Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F


Hummelstown Borough Police Dept.

136 S. Hanover Street

Hummelstown 17036


Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F


Lower Paxton Township Police Dept.

425 Prince Street

Harrisburg 17109


Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F


Lykens Borough Police Dept.

200 Main Street

Lykens, 17048


Hours: 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. M-F    


PA Capitol Police

Commonwealth and North Streets

Harrisburg 17101


Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6 p.m. M-F


Susquehanna Twp. Police Dept.

1900 Linglestown Rd

Harrisburg 17110


Hours: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F


Swatara Twp Police Dept.

599 Eisenhower Blvd.

Harrisburg 17111


Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. M-F


Derry Township Police Dept.

620 Clearwater Road

Hershey 17033


Hours: 24 hrs, 7 days /week


Millersburg Police Dept.

101 West Street

Millersburg 17061


Hours: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. M-F