HOQUIAM, Wash. - The Hoquiam Police Department participated in the most recent DEA “Got Drugs?” Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27, 2013. Police Chief Jeff Myers tells us a total of 53 citizens dropped off 122 pounds of unwanted medication for safe disposal. The cost to incinerate this medication was covered by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
This is the sixth time Hoquiam has participated in this program. To date, the department has collected and disposed of 607 pounds of unwanted medication since 2010.
Changes to federal medication control laws, including the “Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010” have paved the way to establish formal and safe drug take-back programs to take this responsibility off law enforcement. In the past, the Washington State Legislature has considered several bills to establish a statewide program paid for by the pharmaceutical companies themselves.
Myers said "It only seems right that the companies actually making the medications, spending millions on advertising and receiving profits should fund community drug-take back programs statewide. This would not only relieve the taxpayer of the cost, it would more likely create regular drop-off sites in all our communities. So far, a funding mechanism has not been established.
Chief Myers has been an advocate of the program for years "Our department, and undoubtedly many others in our region, would expand collection efforts with an outside drop-box or other safe, fast and convenient system, so long as the collection and disposal costs did not fall to the local taxpayer.
I encourage citizens to contact your state legislators to support the creation of a state-wide drug take-back program. - Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers