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AS HEROIN PLAGUE HEIGHTENS, SO DOES RESPONSE TO SHERIFF'S OFFICE DRUG TAKE-BACK PROGRAM
PITTSBURGH, PA - As the national heroin epidemic rankles, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office in October collected more than 200 pounds of unused prescription medications from local homes through its Project D.U.M.P. initiative. The program, which stands for the Disposal of Unused Medications Properly, seeks to help County residents safely eliminate expired or no longer used narcotic medications, by dispatching an evidence technician to visit their homes and take possession of the unwanted pharmaceuticals. For the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, the scope of neighborhoods requesting Project D.U.M.P. services last month is telling.
“Narcotic medications were gathered from a sundry of homes in fifteen separate Allegheny County communities in October which, for us, is a concrete depiction of what an enigma the heroin pandemic has become,” Sheriff Mullen said. “From the sample of neighborhoods visited, it is undeniable this nondiscriminatory drug problem is at the forefront of people’s minds. And by contacting the Sheriff’s Office, local citizens have shown they want to be a part of the solution,” said Sheriff Mullen.
The Sheriff’s Office stresses individuals participating in the Project D.U.M.P. program will remain completely anonymous, and that drug take-back programs are among the safest options for disposing of unused prescription narcotics. Medications such as Vicodin, Percocet and Oxycontin should not be thrown in the trash, flushed down the toilet or left around the house for others to access.
“Project D.U.M.P. is both a literal and figurative vehicle to keep unused prescription drugs away from individuals who may potentially abuse them,” said Sheriff Mullen. “Since the program’s inception in April, Evidence Technician Joseph Cirigliano has confiscated over 473 pounds of opiate medications, which equates to about 70,000 pills.” Allegheny County residents wanting to make an appointment for a sworn Sheriff’s Office Evidence Technician to pick-up medication at their homes are invited to telephone the Project D.U.M.P. Hotline at 412-459-5000. Following recovery, all seized medications are legally disposed of through evidence destruction orders.