Drug coalition, pharmacies team up for medicine take-back

The Cambria County Drug Coalition and more than a dozen Cambria County pharmacies have partnered to distribute pouches that can be used to neutralize unwanted, unused or expired drugs, coalition leaders announced Tuesday.

Members of the public can receive Deterra drug deactivation pouches at no cost by visiting the drive-through windows of participating pharmacies through June 10, while supplies last.

The pouches have water-soluble inner pods containing what the manufacturer describes as “proprietary MAT12 activated carbon.” Unwanted drugs and warm water are to be added to the pouches; the inner pod dissolves in the warm water, and the carbon then absorbs the drugs, rendering them inert and non-retrievable, according to the manufacturer.

The manufacturer says that the process works on pills, patches and liquids and will deactivate any organic medications, including opioids.

Participating pharmacies are:

• Forest Hills Pharmacy, 552 Locust St., St. Michael;

• Fowler’s Pharmacy, 317 Beaver St., Hastings;

• James Drug Store, 601 Second St., Cresson, 2423 Betts Ave., Northern Cambria, and 3692 Portage St., Portage;

• Johnstown Pharmacy, 339 Walnut St., Johnstown;

• Mainline Pharmacy, 1207 Second St., Cresson, 3720 New Germany Rd., Ebensburg, 1049 Shoemaker St., Nanty Glo, and 619 Main St., Portage;

• Martella’s Pharmacy, 1932 William Penn Ave., Johnstown, and 1079 Franklin St., Johnstown;

• Patton Pharmacy, 503 Railroad Ave., Ste. 2, Patton;

• Sharbaugh’s Drug Store, 2073 Plank Rd., Carrolltown; and

• Westmont Drug Store, 1741 Goucher St., Johnstown.

The distribution effort is being supported by funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.