Drug Take Back Event: Safe Disposal, Saving Lives

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Community youth substance use prevention coalitions, law enforcement agencies, and community organizations in Southwest Washington are collaborating to host drive‐thru drug take‐back events at several locations on Saturday, October 29, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Community members are encouraged to bring their unused and expired prescriptions and over‐the‐counter medications for safe, free disposal to any one of the following event sites:

PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care ‐ 33rd & Main (south back lot), Vancouver
Kaiser Permanente Orchards ‐ 7101 NE 137th Ave., Vancouver
Battle Ground Police Department ‐ 507 SW 1st St., Battle Ground
Washougal Police Department ‐ 1320 A St., Washougal
Cowlitz Indian Tribal Public Safety Dept. ‐ 31501 NW 31st Ave., Ridgefield

Please note that the Peacehealth Southwest Urgent Care site is the only location accepting sharps and syringes (non-commercial sources only). Additionally, all event sites except the Cowlitz Indian Tribal Public Safety Department will collect vape pens and e‐cigarettes without batteries for disposal.

All prescription and over‐the‐counter medications including pills, liquids, and inhalers will be accepted for free disposal at any of the drive‐thru disposal events. Medications not in original containers will also be accepted. Community‐based medicine take‐back events and year-round disposal programs are the only safe way to dispose of medication. Medicine should never be flushed or thrown in the trash, it pollutes the environment, and our waterways, or could be taken by someone for whom it wasn’t prescribed.

Kelley Groen‐Sieckmann, Community Prevention Project Coordinator with Central Vancouver Coalition and ESD 112, said that “take back events are meant to promote safe medication disposal to reduce opioid and prescription misuse and prevent the medication from ending up in our landfills and waterways.”

“Statistics show that 75 percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them – usually taken from a friend or family member,” explains Groen‐Sieckmann. “However, simple steps like properly disposing of medications at a take-back event, at a year-round disposal kiosk, or mail-back program, can help prevent misuse and overall decrease the spread of the opioid problem we are seeing in our region and across the country,” she added.

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