By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — In an effort to curb what officials call an “epidemic of abuse,” Pennsylvania has announced a plan to deploy up to 250 permanent drop-off locations for unused and expired prescription drugs.

Law enforcement agencies  have been staging “prescription drug take-back days” for several years, and now Pennsylvania residents will have a wider opportunity to get rid of unwanted medicines at any time.  (Some communities have already installed prescription drug drop boxes — see related stories.)

Governor Tom Corbett says proper disposal of unused prescription drugs is important not just to stop abuse:

“Not only so that they don’t get into the hands of others who shouldn’t be using them, but also so that we’re not flushing them down the toilet and putting them into the environment.”

New, blue “MedReturn” boxes will be under surveillance by law enforcement at all times, since they could be a target for thieves, although the governor says the drop-off policy will be “no questions asked.”

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a PDF list of  locations where MedReturn drop-off boxes either are or will be soon located.

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