Safely Dispose of Dangerous Drugs at Home

SCRANTON -- There's a new way for you to safely get rid of unwanted prescription medications right in your own home.

Until now, law enforcement recommended you take the pills especially powerful painkillers to special drop boxes because it's dangerous to flush them into the water supply.

The attorney general's office has chosen 12 counties in Pennsylvania hardest hit by the opioid epidemic to supply drug deactivation and disposal pouches. Among those 12 counties, are three in our area.

Lori Ligorio has a 9-year-old son. Disposing of unused pills properly and safely is something that's important to her as a mother but also a businesswoman. Through her company "Caring Transitions of Scranton," she helps relocate people who are moving.

"We're doing a full site liquidation, which includes all the contents and we always come across a client's medication," Ligorio said.

The state attorney general's office will now supply 300,000 special bags that allow you to destroy and dispose of pills safely at home.

Andrew Brown's Pharmacy in Scranton will be one of the locations supplying the pouches. Lackawanna, Luzerne, and Montour Counties are among the counties in the state getting them.

"These 12 counties were specifically chosen because of that, because of the high opioid use and not as much access to drop-off locations," said pharmacist Michael Brown.

So here is how it works. You place unused pills inside the pouch. You can either put up to 45 pills, six patches, or six fluid ounces in the pouch. Fill it up with warm tap water like just from a sink, and then seal it up and throw it out.

"Taking advantage of the situation, so this does give patients the option of having it in their own home, in the privacy of their own home. They can do it when they feel comfortable and not have to come out in public and not have anyone ask any questions," said pharmacist Michele Pusateri.

DePietro's Pharmacy in Dunmore will be another option. They've already taken steps towards not letting unused medications get in the wrong hands. They're one of a few pharmacies around that supply a drop-off box daily.

"Patients maybe, kids get their wisdom teeth pulled and they are given a certain quantity, and then after a day they don't need to take it anymore," said Pusateri.

"I think sometimes people are skeptical about bringing things to a pharmacy or to a drop-off location. This one you can be doing it at your home and just disposing of it," said Brown.

The attorney general's office tells us all of the pouches will be distributed by August 1. The CVS on Davis Street in Scranton already has them as well as Andrew Brown's Pharmacy.

Click here to find a pharmacy near you.

4 comments

  • Huggy

    Just ship them to Frackville or Ashland. Pills are really popular there! Nice area, really bright people in row homes.

    • BobO

      So you think patients who have allergic reactions of negative side effects from medications should just keep popping those pills until they’re gone ? Idiot.

    • NatMat

      You are incorrect. People have reactions to certain meds and can’t continue them. They may be admitted to the hospital and never have a chance to finish a med. Certain pain killers and such are use as needed and sometimes don’t get used entirely. You are obviously a healthy person and don’t need to take meds.

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