SUNBURY - The Northumberland-Montour Drug Task Force will again participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), according to District Attorney Tony Rosini.

Unused prescription medication will be collected from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday throughout Northumberland, Montour, Union and Snyder counties with "no questions asked," Rosini said.

Unused drugs can be dropped off at Shamokin, Coal Township, Kulpmont, Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel Township, Sunbury, Catawissa, Locust Township, Danville and Berwick police departments, sheriffs offices and state police stations. All official collection sites are listed on the DEA web site at www.justice.gov/dea. They can be found be clicking on the "Got Drugs" banner on the right side and then clicking on the link "Locate Collection Site Near You."

The service is free and anonymous. The medications will be turned over to the DEA for proper disposal. The names of individuals turning in medications are not being recorded.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are reportedly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to keeping old drugs that can get mixed up with current medications. Studies have shown that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets.

In addition, authorities say the usual methods for disposing of unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash - �pose potential safety and health hazards as the drugs enter the environment through the water supply. Recent testing has found small amounts of medications in rivers and streams and in fish and other aquatic life.

Rosini urged residents to take advantage of this collection to surrender expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceuticals, controlled substances and other medications for proper disposal. Liquid medications will be accepted in their containers.

Sharps and needles will not be accepted. Medications will be listed on a manifest and delivered to a hazardous waste incinerator for proper disposal.

Illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine are not a part of this initiative and should not be placed in the collection boxes.