Community substance misuse prevention coalitions, law enforcement agencies, and medical providers in Southwest Washington are collaborating to host drive-thru drug take-back events at six different locations in Clark and Skamania counties on Saturday, April 30, from 10 AM to 2 PM.
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 drive-thru event sites:
- PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care – 33rd & Main (south back lot), Vancouver
- Kaiser Permanente Orchards – 7101 NE 137th, 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
- Skamania County Sheriff – 200 Vancouver Ave., Stevenson
All prescription and over-the-counter medications including pills, liquids, and inhalers will be accepted at any of the drive-thru disposal events. Medications not in original containers will also be accepted. Removal of personal information on medication labels or packaging is not required for disposal at the event sites.
Please note that the Peacehealth Southwest Urgent Care event site is the only location accepting sharps and syringes for disposal from noncommercial 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.
Community-based medicine take-back events and year-round disposal programs are the only safe and most environmentally protective way to dispose of medication. Medicine should never be flushed or thrown in the trash as it pollutes the environment and waterways, puts kids and pets at risk for accidental ingestion and poisonings, and could be retrieved and misused by someone it wasn’t prescribed for.
Kelley Groen-Sieckmann, Community Prevention Specialist with the Prevent Coalition and ESD 112 said that take back events are meant to promote safe medication disposal and encourage community members to remove unneeded medications from their homes as a standard practice for preventing prescription drug misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting, reducing the risk for accidental ingestion or poisonings, and preventing medication from ending up in landfills and our drinking water.
“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, and each year over 60,000 children under age six end up in emergency rooms from accidentally ingesting medication,” explains Groen-Sieckmann. “However, simple steps like properly disposing of medications and storing medicine in a locked location, can help prevent accidental poisonings, prescription drug misuse, and overall decrease the spread of the opioid problem we are seeing in our region and across the country,” she added.
Medicine take-back events in Southwest Washington are funded in partnership by Washington State Health Care Authority, law enforcement, and youth substance misuse prevention coalitions. For more info about the event, visit bit.ly/DTBE43022. If you’re unable to make it to the April 30th event, you can find a year-round medicine disposal site or order free envelopes to dispose of medicine by mail at www.Med-Project.org. Take the pledge to lock your meds and learn about the benefits and how to store medication in a locked location at www.LocksSaveLives.org.
ABOUT PREVENT COALITION:
Supported by the fiscal agent ESD 112, Prevent Coalition is a community coalition formed in 2003 to increase collaboration, awareness, and reduce youth substance use in Southwest Washington. Prevent also implements initiatives for rural communities across Washington state. As a community mobilizer, we’re creating a culture promoting healthy choices; advocating for policies and regulations that protect, empower and nurture youth; and facilitating positive opportunities for youth to be involved and thrive. For more info, visit www.preventcoalition.org.