Drug take-back event collects 2,597 pounds of unused medications

More than 781 residents in Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties safely dropped off a total of 2,597 pounds of unused medications and 281 pounds of syringes during a multi-site drug take-back event on Oct. 23.

The medication disposal event was held at seven locations in three Southwest Washington counties and was organized by a committee of local youth substance misuse prevention coalitions, law enforcement agencies, community business partners and volunteers. 

“Despite the weather on Saturday, we had a  decent turnout for the events across our region,” said Kelley Groen-Sieckmann, community prevention specialist with the Prevent Coalition and ESD 112. “It is always inspiring to see members of the community committed to keeping medications out of the environment and to protecting their children and families from possible misuse and accidental poisoning from prescription and over-the-counter drugs.”

All discarded medications were secured in boxes and will be transported for incineration by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Drug take-back events have been organized by prevention coalitions and law enforcement agencies in Clark County since 2010. The events are now held twice a year (April and October) in multiple counties, and in partnership with the Washington State Health Care Authority and DEA National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

For those that missed Saturday’s drug take-back event, unwanted medications can be disposed of year-round at several collection sites across Southwest Washington. Prescription and over-the-counter medication including controlled substances, such as painkillers and tranquilizers, can be taken to participating law enforcement agencies and pharmacies. Sharps and syringes can be taken for free disposal to local participating transfer and recovery centers. Visit med-project.org to find nearby collection sites that accept medicine for safe, free disposal or to order pre-paid postage envelopes to dispose of medicine by mail. Do not flush or throw away unused medicine as it can be misused, cause accidental poisonings and pollute the environment and our drinking water.