Attorney General Josh Shapiro and Pocono Raceway President Ben May recently announced that attendees of the Pocono 400 safely disposed of 78 pounds of prescription drugs in just two days. This single take back event received 30 percent more pills and prescriptions than the totals from the Attorney General’s two events last year at Pocono. This effort was part of the Office of the Attorney General’s Drug Take Back Program, which encourages the public to remove unused or outdated prescription drugs from their homes in an effort to reduce the risk of drug abuse and addiction. The office also distributed 1,200 drug deactivation pouches.
The office stationed two drug take back locations at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, June 1, and Sunday, June 2. Fans who dropped off their prescription drugs were able to drive a lap around the Tricky Triangle track. This was the second year that the Office of the Attorney General and Pocono Raceway partnered to host a Drug Take Back — in 2018, fans disposed of 60 pounds of drugs.
Prescription drug abuse is fueling the heroin, opioid and fentanyl epidemic that is devastating Pennsylvania communities. Four out of every five heroin users started with prescription drugs. Seventy percent of those who misuse opioids got them from a friend or relative’s medicine cabinet and 60 percent of those who are prescribed opioids end up with leftover pills. The goal of the Drug Take Back program is to take these leftover prescription drugs out of Pennsylvanians’ homes to prevent individuals from abusing them and developing addiction.
The drug deactivation pouches offer a way for Pennsylvanians to safely dispose of prescription drugs on their own. Each pouch can hold up to 45 pills and, once water is added to the pouch, the drugs will be deactivated and can simply be thrown out. Since Attorney General Shapiro took office, the Drug Take Back program has destroyed more than 100 tons of prescription drugs and the Office has distributed more than 300,000 pouches in 17 counties.
“Thousands of Pennsylvanians came out with their friends and families for the Pocono 400, and I’m grateful for the many attendees who safely disposed of their unneeded prescription drugs at our take back locations,” said Shapiro. “Thanks to the leadership of Pocono Raceway and those who stepped up to bring their prescriptions this weekend, 78 pounds of drugs are out of Pennsylvanians’ medicine cabinets and away from those who may abuse them. Those who didn’t get a chance to participate this weekend have another chance to do so during the Gander RV 400 on July 27 and 28.”
“Pocono Raceway fans are some of the most passionate race fans in the country,” said Ben May, Pocono Raceway president. “The success of this past weekend's Drug Take Back Program is a solid reminder of how much our fans care about the well-being of others and their desire to help us fight the opioid epidemic. On behalf of the entire Raceway family, we sincerely thank Josh and his team for allowing us, and our fans, to assist in preventing prescription drug abuse. We look forward to seeing the totals grow even more during our July NASCAR race weekend.”
Pocono Raceway and the Office of the Attorney General will be partnering again during the Gander RV 400 on Saturday, July 27, and Sunday, July 28. Fans can drop off their unused or outdated prescription drugs at the take back locations from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and receive a voucher to drive a lap around the track.