Rotary Drug Take Back Outreach
The Wyoming County Drug Take Back Days (coordinated by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency - DEA) take place twice a year in the Tunkhannock Area. Although the Wyoming County District Attorney’s (DA) office runs this program, and law enforcement is responsible for the collection, security and proper disposal of the drugs, the Tunkhannock Rotary Club helps the DA’s office educate the public about this important program to clean old, expired or no longer needed prescription drugs out of people’s medicine cabinets. Most abused prescription drugs come from family and friends. Any one of us could become a drug dealer and not even know it.
The aim of the semi-annual federal Drug Enforcement Agency’s Drug Take Back Program is to provide a secure route for people to turn in their unused or expired medications for safe disposal and keep them out of the reach of children, family, friends and visitors to their homes.
In March 2014, in cooperation with the DA’s office, a Tunkhannock Rotary committee led by Matt Pompey took responsibility for all public relations and advertisement for this program, including:
  • distribution of posters to local businesses to advertise the event,
  • public service announcements that aired over 250 times on 10 radio stations,
  • newspaper articles and ads highlighting the dangers of these unneeded medications, especially for the young,
  • radio interviews on the program and
  • communications with civic organizations, Tyler Memorial Hospital administrators and church clergy who alerted their membership at meetings, from the pulpit and in their newsletters.
  • Robocalls to the parents of students in the TASD.
Two very successful Drug Take Back Days were held in 2014 at CVS and Lech’s Pharmacies in Tunkhannock and Lech’s Pharmacy in Laceyville. In 2015, Lech’s Pharmacy in Nicholson was added as a collection point.
When Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell spoke to the Club on Aug 14, 2014, he reported that April 2014’s Drug Take Back Day resulted in the collection of 131 pounds of drugs from people’s medicine cabinets, significantly more drugs than ever before.
Detective David Ide from the DA’s office credited the amazing turnout and success of the April 2014’s collections to the educational outreach conducted by the Tunkhannock Rotary Club. Many people said they never knew this program existed and were thankful for all the information the Club provided prior to Drug Take Back Day. As a result, the DA’s office indicated that the Club made a big difference and asked for the Club’s continued educational and outreach support for this twice annual program.
Drugs Collected on Drug Take Back Days in Wyoming County
Rotary got involved in Spring 2014
 Apr 25, 2020 canceled due to Covid-19
Grand Total
The Table shows that the program has been becoming increasing successful as we expand our community outreach efforts. Since the program began in 2010, over 1.7 tons of pills and drugs have been collected on the collection days. The first 8 collections cumulatively took approximately 400 pounds of prescription drugs out of peoples’ medicine cabinets. The collections that occurred after the Rotary Club took responsibility for the community outreach efforts accounted for over 3,400 pounds of pills and drugs, demonstrating the power of the Club collaborating with the DA’s office to educate and inform the community.
In 2018, Rotary expanded its community efforts to outreach for the permanent drug drop boxes set up by the DA's Office in Wyoming County (see ad below for their locations).  These boxes are available throughout the year for drop off of drugs between Take Back Events. 
In 2018, Rotary also joined the Wyoming County Coalition HOPE, a consortium of community, law enforcement and health organizations to develop programs and strategies to ameliorate the opioid crisis in Wyoming County. Rotary is part of the Community Education sub-group and provides the Drug Take Back graphics to the Coalition for distribution through their network of organizations.
The Spring 2021 Drug Take Back event will take place from 10 AM to 2 PM Saturday Apr 24 at Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacies in Tunkhannock and from 9 AM to 1 PM at Lech’s Pharmacies in Laceyville and Nicholson.
COVID-19 Community Event
Gina Suydam, President of the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce, who is also a Rotarian, led a webinar discussion on Tuesday, Mar 30 with EMA and members of the Wyoming County COVID-19 Task Force including updates about the Wyoming County COVID Vaccine Clinic.  (
The webinar is only 45 min long but contains a wealth of information on what the Wyo Cty COVID-19 Task Force has been doing to try to get more vaccines into the arms of Wyo Cty residents. 
The participants also provide some advice on where to register etc to get the best chance of getting a vaccine in our county. Only 10% of Wyo Cty residents have been vaccinated so far and the State is advocating regional mass vaccination clinics such as one at the Mohegan Sun Arena, rather than providing vaccines for Cty clinics. 
Gene Dziak (EMA), our Wyo Cty Commissioners, Rep. Karen Boback (Dallas Rotarian) and Sen. Lisa Baker, along with Gina, talked about their efforts locally and in Harrisburg to get vaccines to Wyo Cty and the other rural areas that they serve. The Task Force members are doing everything within their powers to get a small, medium or large vaccine clinic in our County.
Gina did an outstanding job with this webinar and Rotary was mentioned several times for helping with the recruitment of volunteers for a potential vaccine clinic in our area.  If you have a spare 45 minutes you should really give it a viewing at the link provided above.