County Medication Take Back Program removes 600 pounds annually

  • Fri Mar 2nd, 2018 4:46pm
  • News

Wondering how to safely dispose of expired and unused medications? Take them to one of the permanent drop-off bins in the county for free disposal. A drop-off bin is located at the Lopez Sheriff’s Substation.

Leave medicines in original containers. Sheriff Offices can accept all medicines, including opiates and marijuana. The drop-off bins at our local drugstores can’t accept controlled substances. Take controlled substances to the Sheriff Offices for disposal.

Annually, more than 600 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medicines are collected and transported for destruction from the islands. Proper disposal started in 2010 with a partnership between local pharmacies, the prevention coalitions, County Health and Community Services and the Sheriff’s Office.

The Take Back Your Meds is a state program that the community implemented to provide safe disposal options. Safely disposing of medicines using a take-back program keeps medications out of the wrong hands and prevents them from entering ground and surface water. Many teens mistakenly think medicine in the home medicine cabinet is safer to abuse than illegal drugs.

One primary goal of the program is to decrease the number of accidental poisonings due to unused medications. This can be caused by medication mistakes due to excess medications, abuse of opiates and childhood poisoning. Currently, accidental poisoning is the number one reason for accidental death in Washington. Contact the Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for concerns with accidental poisonings.

Additional helpful links include takebackyourmeds.org, deadiversion.usdoj.gov, and sjipc.org.