Two MedReturn boxes on campus provide way to get rid of unused drugs

If you missed Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 25, there’s now a new way on campus to dispose of unused and expired prescription and over-the-counter medication.

Pitt and Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala have teamed up to put two PA MedReturn boxes on campus — at the Jerome Cochran Public Safety Building, 3412 Forbes Ave., and at the Student Pharmacy in Mark A. Nordenberg Hall along Fifth Avenue. The boxes are secure, and drop offs can be made anonymously.

“The best way to avoid the risks of prescription drug abuse, especially for children and teenagers, is to safely dispose of medications when they are unused or expired,” Zappala said in a news release. 

Disposing of unwanted medications not only prevents prescription drug abuse, but it also keeps drugs out of landfills or from going down the drain where they can end up in the water supply.

The PA MedReturn boxes were awarded to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office through a grant program made possible by a partnership between the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and the Staunton Farm Foundation. 

“Our goal in creating this program is to provide education opportunities for the public, while reducing drug abuse and dependency,” Jennifer Smith, secretary of Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, said in the news release.

The boxes will accept: 

  • Prescription and over-the-counter solid medications (tablets and capsules)
  • Liquid medications
  • Inhalers
  • Creams ointments
  • Nasal sprays
  • Pet medications

The boxes will NOT accept:

  • Intravenous solutions
  • Injectables and needles 

Additional information about drug take-back locations, the dangers of prescription drug abuse, and where to get help for yourself or a loved one is available at