Drug take-back event will collect unwanted medications to protect families and the environment

Event to take place Saturday at four collection sites around Clark County

Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country.  In Washington state, almost 11 percent of teens use medicines for non-medical reasons — a rate that’s among the highest in the nation. Safe medicine take-back programs, like those scheduled on Oct. 28, get potentially dangerous leftover drugs out of our homes.

This Saturday, Clark County residents can safely dispose of all unused medications at four free collection events. All events will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat., Oct. 28, at:

This Saturday, Clark County residents can safely dispose of all unused medications at four free collection events.
This Saturday, Clark County residents can safely dispose of all unused medications at four free collection events.
  • PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care, 33rd and Main St, Vancouver
  • Kaiser Permanente-Cascade Park, 12607 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver
  • Battle Ground Police Department, 507 SW 1st St, Battle Ground
  • Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue, 1220 A St, Washougal

Unused medicines left in the home increase opportunities for drug abuse and accidental poisoning. Most abusers of medicines, including teens, get the drugs from a friend or relative, often without their knowledge, rather than from a drug dealer. And about half of the 37,000 phone calls to the Washington Poison Center concern young children who have been poisoned by medicines found at home.

Proper drug disposal is also an environmental issue. Unused medications can contaminate our drinking water and should not be flushed down the toilet or put in the trash. Drug Take Back programs dispose of medications properly and safely through the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

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

A similar event in April 2017 collected more than 2,800 pounds of medications from nearly 1,000 participants. Unwanted medications also can be disposed of at several collection sites across Clark and Skamania Counties. Controlled substances, such as painkillers and tranquilizers, can be taken to participating law enforcement agencies and participating pharmacies. Non-controlled substances, such as over-the-counter medications and sharps, can be taken to local participating transfer and recovery centers. Visit www.takebackyourmeds.org for more details on where to drop off your medications.

All unwanted medications (controlled and non-controlled) will be accepted at the Oct. 28 events. For more information about the event, call Clark County Public Health at (360) 397-2121 ext. 4352, or contact the Prevent Coalition at preventcoalition@esd112.org .

Information provided by ESD 112.

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