Drug take-back events planned in Southwest Washington

Community prevention coalitions and law enforcement agencies in Southwest Washington are working together to host drive-thru drug take-back events at seven different locations in Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24.

Camas-Washougal community members are encouraged to bring their unused and expired prescriptions and over-the-counter medications for safe, free disposal to the Washougal Silver Star Search & Rescue building at 1220 “A” St., Washougal; PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care or Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park in Vancouver; or to the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, at 200 Vancouver Ave., Stevenson, in Skamania County.

All sites will follow appropriate COVID-19 safety guidelines, with participants utilizing the in-vehicle drive-thru process to ensure safety.

Kelley Groen-Sieckmann, Community Prevention Specialist with the Prevent Coalition and ESD 112, said take back events are meant to promote safe medication disposal and reduce opioid and prescription misuse.

“We continue to have an opioid epidemic across the region that is being compounded by the pandemic with added stress, uncertainty and isolation … 75 percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them, usually taken from a friend or family member,” she said. “Simple steps, like properly disposing of medications, can help prevent that misuse.” 

All prescription and over-the-counter medications including pills, liquids and inhalers will be accepted at any of the drive-thru disposal events. Medications not in original containers will also be accepted..

Community-based medicine take-back events and disposal sites are the only safe way to dispose of medication. Never flush or throw medicine in the trash, it pollutes the environment and waterways.

Please note that the Peacehealth Southwest Urgent Care site is the only location accepting sharps and syringes (noncommercial sources only). Additionally, all event sites except the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Public Safety Department will collect vape pens and e-cigarettes without batteries for disposal.

Medicine take-back events in Southwest Washington are funded in partnership by Washington State Health Care Authority. For more info about the event or free year-round medication disposal sites, visit bit.ly/DTBE42421.