Drug takeback program seeks to create safer homes in Clark County

Organizers hope to build on success of 2017 when 1,165 people dropped off 3,500 pounds of unused medications

Unused drugs have proven to be fatal in Clark County.

In fact, according to Clark County Public Health, 71 percent of all drug poisoning deaths in Clark County are related to opioids, and 75 percent of all opioid poisoning deaths are related to prescription medication.

Residents of Clark and Skamania counties will have several opportunities to dispose of unused medication April 28. Courtesy Photo
Residents of Clark and Skamania counties will have several opportunities to dispose of unused medication April 28. Courtesy Photo

That’s a 16 percent increase since 2013.

Residents will have several opportunities to make their homes safer for themselves and their families through safe medicine take-back programs scheduled for April 28 in Clark and Skamania counties.

All unwanted medications, controlled and uncontrolled, can be safely disposed of from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28 at the following locations:

  • PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care, 33rd and Main streets, Vancouver
  • Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park, 12607 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver
  • Battle Ground Police Department, 507 SW First St., Battle Ground
  • Washougal Silver Star Search & Rescue, 1220 A St., Washougal
  • Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, 200 NW Vancouver Ave., Stevenson

Syringes will only be accepted at the Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park location.

“Unused medicines left in the home increase opportunities for drug abuse and accidental poisoning,” the press release from Clark County Public Health states. “Most abusers of medicines, including teens, get the drugs from a friend, relative, or their own home; often without anyone knowing, rather than from a drug dealer.”

In October 2017, drug take-back events resulted in the collection of more than 3,500 pounds of medications from 1,165 participants.

Unused medication can be disposed of at any time by visiting several collection sites throughout Clark and Skamania counties. Visit  www.ClarkGreenNeighbors.org/meds for more details on where to drop off medications.

“Controlled substances, such as painkillers and tranquilizers, can be taken to participating law enforcement agencies and participating pharmacies,” according to the press release. “Non-controlled substances, such as over-the-counter medications, sharps and syringes, can be taken to local participating transfer and recovery centers.”

For more information about the events, call Clark County Public Health at (360) 397-2121 ext. 4352, or contact the Prevent Coalition at preventcoalition@esd112.org.

The April 28 collection event is organized thanks to a community partnership including Clark County Public Health, Kaiser Permanente, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Battle Ground Police Department, La Center Police Department, Ridgefield Police Department, Vancouver Police Department, Washougal Police Department, Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, Walgreens, Connect Evergreen, La Center United, Prevent Coalition, Prevent Together: Battle Ground Prevention Alliance, Unite! Washougal Community Coalition, Connect Evergreen, West Van for Youth, and U.S. Department of Justice Drug Enforcement Administration.

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