Longview Police Medication Take Back Event Set for April 26
On April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Longview Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its eighth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Citizens may bring pills for disposal to the main Longview Police station at 1351 Hudson Street. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Captain Deborah Johnson will be present to take in drugs and answer questions.
Last October, Americans turned in 324 tons (over 647,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 4,114 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its seven previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 3.4 million pounds—more than 1,700 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” (that is, a patient or their family member or pet owner) of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.
Several law enforcement agencies in Cowlitz County offer permanent pill-disposal bins to keep unwanted prescription drugs out of the hands of drug abusers and the water supply, which can be contaminated by flushing medications.
Drop-off sites include:
• Longview Police Department, 1351 Hudson St., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Closed for lunch from 11 a.m. until noon.
• Kelso Police Department, 201 Pacific Ave. S., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
• Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, 312 SW 1ST Ave., 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.