On Saturday, 1,451 Clark and Skamania County residents dropped off a total of 4,683 pounds of unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications with local law enforcement officers, pharmacists, coalition staff and community volunteers. The medication disposal event was held at five locations throughout the counties where a steady stream of cars lined-up to hand over medications and sharps. The busiest drop site was Cascade Park Kaiser Permanente, which served 657 participants that brought in 1,923 pounds of pills and over 900 pounds of sharps. All pills were weighed and secured in boxes that will be transported for incineration by the DEA.
These numbers show a significant increase over the last Drug Take Back events in October 2017, which collected 3,549 pounds of medications from 1,321 participants.
According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.
The drug take back events take place twice annually in April and October and are a community partnership that includes Clark County Public Health, Kaiser Permanente, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Battle Ground Police Department, La Center Police Department, Ridgefield Police Department, Vancouver Police Department, Washougal Police Department, Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office, Walgreens, Connect Evergreen, La Center United, 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.
Prevent Coalition would like to thank PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Battle Ground Police Department, Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park, Skamania County Sheriff’s Office and Washougal Silver Star Search and Rescue for hosting the five event sites.
Unwanted medications also can be disposed of year-round at several collection sites across Clark and Skamania Counties. Controlled substances, such as pain killers and tranquilizers, can be taken to participating law enforcement agencies and participating pharmacies. Non-controlled substances, such as over-the-counter medications, Sharps and syringes, can be taken to local participating transfer and recovery centers. Visit www.ClarkGreenNeighbors.org/meds for more details on where to drop off your medications.