Sept. 16, 2010
Safely dispose of unwanted medicines on DEA National Pharmaceutical Take-Back Day Sept. 25
Effort adds to ongoing community push to provide safe drug disposal options
Responding to alarming increases in prescription drug abuse, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and local law enforcement are organizing a nationwide medicine “take-back” on Sept. 25 to give residents a safe way to dispose of leftover, unneeded, and expired drugs in their medicine cabinets.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 25th the DEA and local law enforcement will collect potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs for destruction at sites nationwide. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Many King County locations are participating in the National Pharmaceutical Take-Back Day, including cities with ongoing drug take-back programs. To learn more or to find a location, visit http://www.takebackyourmeds.org/what-you-can-do/locations.
Local governments, pharmacies, and law enforcement that have been working in King County to create safe drug disposal options for more than five years welcome DEA’s engagement and will continue their efforts to promote creation of a year-round, statewide drug take-back system.
Drug take-back initiatives address a vital public safety and environmental protection need in our communities. King County and the DEA encourage residents to use take-back programs rather than flushing waste medicines or throwing them in the trash – both potential safety and health hazards.
Prescription drug abuse in the United States is increasing at alarming rates, and the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs are also rising. A majority of abused medicines are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Pharmaceuticals are also a significant water pollutant nationwide and a concern in Puget Sound. About 30 percent of medicines sold go unused or expire, so disposing of these waste medicines properly through a drug take-back program is an important action to protect our waterways and aquatic ecosystems.
Any time through the year, King County residents can return medicines that are not narcotics or other controlled substances to any Group Health location and to select Bartell Drugs pharmacies.
Some police stations in King County also provide drug take-back programs for all medicines including controlled substances. Learn more about ongoing drug take-back programs at www.medicinereturn.com/return-your-medicines, or call the Household Hazardous Waste Hotline at 206-296-4692 OR 1-888-869-4233.
DEA’s national initiative and existing drug take-back programs demonstrate the community demand for safe drug disposal programs. Learn more at www.takebackyourmeds.org.