Drive-thru drug take back event scheduled for Oct. 24

There will be four locations across Clark County where you can drop off unused medications, including those for pets

VANCOUVER — If you have unused prescription drugs in your home, circle Saturday Oct. 24 on your calendar.

From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., four locations across Clark County will be holding a “drive-thru” drug Take Back event.

Processed medications await pick up at the pharmacy on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Oct. 25, 2011. Pharmacists in the 28th Medical Support Squadron carefully screen all medications to ensure quality product is supplied to their patients.
Processed medications await pick up at the pharmacy on Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Oct. 25, 2011. Pharmacists in the 28th Medical Support Squadron carefully screen all medications to ensure quality product is supplied to their patients. U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Zachary Hada/Released

The Take Back event helps reduce the danger of misuse of drugs. Studies suggest that 75 percent of opioid issues begin when drugs are taken from home medicine cabinets by family and friends and used improperly. Additionally, medications that are disposed of incorrectly can contaminate landfills and waterways.

Participants will remain in their vehicle and use a drive-thru process to dispose of unwanted and expired medications (including pet medications) as well as vaping devices and e-cigarettes without batteries. 

All event sites will follow appropriate COVID-19 safety guidelines for social distancing, face coverings, sanitizing and disinfecting.

Drug Take Back Event locations are:

  • Kaiser Permanente Orchards 7101 NE 137th Ave., Vancouver
  • PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care, 33rd & Main (South Back Lot), Vancouver
  • Battle Ground Police Department, 507 SW 1st St., Battle Ground
  • Washougal Silver Star Search & Rescue, 1220 A St., Washougal

The PeaceHealth Southwest location is the only one of the four also accepting syringes and Sharps from non-commercial sources only. No pre-filled syringes can be accepted. Please use an approved Sharps container when transporting; if one is not available, use a rigid plastic container with a lid (ex: plastic milk jug) and label the container.

Vaping devices and e-cigarettes without batteries will be accepted for free safe disposal at all four event sites. If batteries aren’t removable, check with electronic chain stores to ask if they accept these devices for proper disposal or contact your local Hazardous Material Transfer Stations to ask if they accept these devices and for additional guidance on proper disposal.

Volunteers wait outside a drug take back event in 2019. File photo
Volunteers wait outside a drug take back event in 2019. File photo

Due to COVID-19, over the past few months some local medication disposal sites have been temporarily closed. For more information about free year-round medication disposal locations in Clark and Skamania counties visit: https://www.preventcoalition.org/resources/meds/.

You can also find information about this event and year-round free disposal ay bit.ly/DrugTakeBack2020 or by calling Clark County Public Health at 564-397-7352.

Medicine take-back events in Southwest WA are funded in partnership by Washington State Health Care Authority. Medicine take-back programs are the only secure and environmentally sound way to dispose of leftover and expired prescription and over-the-counter medication.

Vancouver Police Department and PeaceHealth Southwest contributed to this report

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