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One of the easiest ways to help in the fight against youth prescription drug abuse is pretty simple; make it harder to get.

The number one reason youth misuse prescription drugs is that they are easy to get — often from family and friends’ medicine cabinets. In Washington state, 7 percent of teens are misusing prescription drugs not prescribed to them, according to the 2018 Washington Healthy Youth Survey.

That’s why nearly three dozen local community groups are taking action and hosting free DRUG TAKE-BACK events and raising awareness that LOCKS SAVE LIVES.



On Saturday, April 27, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM, residents can safely dispose of all unused and leftover prescription and over-the-counter medications at eight Drug Take-Back Event locations. Plus, some participants will have the opportunity to receive a free lock box.

Drug Take Back Locations include:

PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care, 33rd and Main Street, S. Back Lot, Vancouver: Will also accept sharps and syringes. Offering lock boxes to qualified recipients.

Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park, 12607 SE Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver: Also accepting Sharps and syringes.

Battle Ground Police Department, 507 SW 1st Street, Battle Ground: Offering free lock boxes to qualified recipients.

Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue, 1220 A Street, Washougal

Cowlitz Public Safety Department, 31501 NW 31st Avenue, Ridgefield (I-5 Exit 16, south of Ilani Casino)

To encourage people to lock up their prescription medications, the community groups are giving away free lock boxes to the first 200 qualified people at two Drug Take-Back Event locations — PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care and Battle Ground Police Department. Individuals can take a survey to determine if they qualify for a lock box.

It is important to properly dispose of unused medications. Medications can contaminate drinking water and should not be flushed down the toilet or put in the trash. Drug Take-Back events and programs dispose of medications properly and safely through the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). Find year-round take-back locations near you for safe and free medication disposal.

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