Drug program collects nearly 38,000 pounds

DOYLESTOWN Since its inception in 2010, Bucks County's drug take-back program has collected nearly 38,000 pounds of unused prescription medications in an effort to prevent drug abuse and overdoses, and protect the area's drinking water.

That figure was released late last month after the county collected about 6,200 pounds of pharmaceuticals during an annual take-back day April 26. Residents throughout the county have dropped off unused drugs to dozens of collection sites.

"Thus, we have collected over 18 tons of medications to date," said Melanie Swanson, prevention specialist for the Council of Southeast Pennsylvania Inc.

According to the county, 70 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers get them from friends or relatives. Studies by the Environmental Protection Agency have detected traces of pharmaceutical drugs in the water supply. - Ben Finley