The next DEA national Drug Take Back Day is scheduled for October 28th. Local law enforcement agencies across the country set up free drug take-back collection sites for safe disposal of unused and unwanted prescription medication.
Collection sites can be found by going to www.dea.gov. This site will be continuously updated with new take-back locations.
Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers adds that his department has a free 24/7 drug take back box in the lobby of the police station at 215-10th Street for use anytime. “You don’t have to worry about a specific day to safely dispose of those unused or unwanted medications, all you have to do is stop by our station lobby, day or night, and drop them in the collection box.”
It is a large white box which looks like a postal mailbox. Just walk up and dump in your medication- bam, done, easy. You can remove your labels from the bottle, or dump everything in a bag. It does not matter because everything is collected inside the box in large bags and then incinerated at a DOE-approved facility in Oregon.
Myers said, “the cost for this program is covered by the department because we believe it is the right thing to do. Although we don’t have to worry about only collecting medications only on the DEA take-back days, we do appreciate the ability to send back collected medications for destruction right after these national programs. The DEA covers the cost of shipping and incineration, so it does help off-set our ongoing program costs.”
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
Chief Myers said that since they installed the drug take back box in October 2014, HPD has collected and safely disposed of over 3,024 pounds of medications.