This Saturday, October 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and its local law enforcement, community and tribal partners in the Pacific Northwest will collect expired, unused, and unwanted prescription medications at one of 209 collection sites. There are 19 collection sites in Alaska, 35 in Idaho, 60 in Oregon, and 95 in Washington State. The service is free of charge, no questions asked.
Last April, residents of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington turned in 40,096 pounds (20 tons) of prescription medications. This is the highest collection to date for the Pacific Northwest. The following are the results from last April’s collection is broken down by state:
- Washington –76 collection sites which resulted in 17,018 pounds (8.5 tons) removed from circulation.
- Idaho – 37 collection sites which resulted in 4,282 (2.0 tons) removed from circulation.
- Oregon – 60 collection sites which resulted in 14,614 pounds (7.3 tons) removed from circulation. This is a record collection number for Oregon.
- Alaska – 17 collection sites which resulted in 4,182 pounds (2.1 tons) removed from circulation. This is a record collection for Alaska.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Initiative addresses a critical public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States continue to be alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Because the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration have advised the public that flushing their prescription drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash pose potential safety and health hazards, DEA launched its prescription drug take back program to encourage the safe disposal of medications.
After collecting nationally a total of more than 9.9 million pounds (nearly 5,000 tons) of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications during 15 previous events over the past eight years, the Drug Enforcement Administration expects to reach a total of 10 million pounds collected following the upcoming fall 2018 Take back event.
The public can find a nearby collection site by visiting www.DEATakeBack.com where they enter their zip code. Or they can call 800-882-9529. Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites—liquids and needles or other sharps will not be accepted.