Drug take back event collects 1,654 pounds of pills

On Sat., Oct. 22, 921 Clark County residents dropped off a total of 1,654 pounds of unused and unwanted medications with local law enforcement officers and volunteers. The drug disposal event was held at three locations throughout the county where a steady stream of cars waited to hand over medications and sharps.

The busiest drop site was Cascade Park Kaiser Permanente, which served 423 participants that brought in 823 pounds of pills. All pills were separated from plastic containers where they will be transported for incineration by the DEA. Plastics will be recycled.

Drug take back event in Clark County Washington Vancouver
Volunteers and staff members are shown here Saturday at the drug take back event, held at three locations around the county. A total of 921 residents dropped off a total of 1,654 pounds of unused and unwanted medications. Photo courtesy of ESD 112

The drug take back event is a community partnership that includes Vancouver Police Department, Battle Ground Police Department, Clark County Public Health, U.S. Department of Justice: Drug Enforcement Administration, PREVENT! Coalition of Clark County, Prevent Together Coalition, West Van for Youth, UNITE! Washougal, STAHSA, ACES Club of Clark College, Fort Vancouver High School, Hudson’s Bay High School, La Center United, Connect Evergreen, Legacy Hospital, Kaiser Permanente and PeaceHealth SW.

PREVENT! would like to thank PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Battle Ground Police Department and Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park for hosting the three event sites. Thank you to Kaiser for recycling the plastic pill bottles. Thank you to Burgerville for supplying coupons for community members who dropped of medications. Thank you to UNITE! Washougal for supplying all three sites with lockable bags for prescriptions and sharps containers to hand out to members of the public who turned in unused medications at the event.

Unwanted medications can be disposed of year round at several collection sites across Clark County. Controlled substances, such as painkillers and tranquilizers, can be taken to participating law enforcement agencies. Non-controlled substances, such as over-the-counter medications, can be taken to local participating pharmacies.

For more information on both types of disposal, visit “Medications” at RecyclingA-Z.com.

For more information about other disposal or recycling options, visit RecyclingA-Z.com or call Clark County Environmental Services at (360) 397-2121 ext. 4352. Or PREVENT! Coalition at (360) 952-3406 or visit www.preventclarkcounty.org.

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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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