Program highlights safer disposal for unneeded drugs

Take back: Event aims to curb abuse

April 29, 2011 


    As part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day unwanted or unused prescription drugs can be discarded Saturday at:

    • Lacey Police Department, 420 College St. S.E., Lacey

    • Thurston County Sheriff’s Office, Rochester Community Center, 10140 State Route 12 S.W., Rochester

    • Federal Way Police Department, 33325 Eighth Ave. S. (The location will open from noon to 4 p.m.)

    • Waller Hall parking lot on Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

    • Puyallup Police Department, 311 W. Pioneer.

    • Puyallup Tribal Police, 3009 Portland Ave. E.

Local law enforcement agencies want you to drop off unused prescription drugs at one of several sites Saturday, instead of flushing them down the toilet or letting them linger in the medicine cabinet.

Unwanted or unused prescription drugs can be discarded between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. as part of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s second National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The program is free and anonymous. Drugs that come as pills or non-injectable liquids go into secure drop boxes. Insulin, illegal drugs, syringes and medical waste will not be accepted.

The DEA wants the medication in the drop boxes instead of medicine cabinets, where it can be stolen or abused. More than 7 million people abuse prescription drugs, according to a 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. About 2,500 teens take a prescription drug each day to get high for the first time.

“Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs come from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet,” according to a DEA statement.

The first National Prescription Drug Take Back Day was Sept. 25. More than 3,000 agencies participated and 121 tons of prescription pills were collected. Washington residents turned in nearly 4.5 tons of medication.

Several local agencies have collection boxes set up year-round.

The Tacoma Police Department is not participating in Saturday’s program but has collection boxes at its headquarters building (3701 S. Pine St.) and four substations (1524 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 5140 N. 26th St., 1501 S. 72nd St., and 400 E. 56th St.)

Stacey Mulick: 253-597-8268

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