According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 75 percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them—usually taken from a friend or family member. As folks continue to be instructed to stay at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, it is important to recognize that the risk for opioid misuse can increase in our homes and in our community during this time.
In light of social distancing measures still in place, ESD 112’s Prevent Coalition, in partnership with eight other local prevention coalitions, local law enforcement agencies, and a number of community collaborators, will not be hosting a prescription Drug Take Back event this April 25, as was originally planned. Prevent urges individuals to implement alternative methods for preventing opioid misuse in their community, such as locking up medications to prevent misuse, or finding safe locations to dispose of unused or expired meds. While the April 25 Drug Take Back event has been canceled, there are still several locations across Southwest Washington to drop off unused medications for free and safe disposal which include the following. It is best to call ahead for availability at each location:
- Walgreens- Fisher’s Landing, (360) 885-2938, 1905 SE 164th Ave., Vancouver. Open: 24 hours/day – Call for availability Walgreens Salmon Creek
- Walgreens- Salmon Creek, (360) 574–0914, 2100 NE 139th St., Vancouver. Open: M-F, 8 am-10 pm, Sat, 9 am-6 pm, Sun, 10am-6pm, Call for availability.
- Vancouver Police: East, (360) 487-7500, 520 SE 155th Ave., Vancouver. Open: M-F, 8 am-5 pm. *Controlled and noncontrolled medications- No pill containers*
- Vancouver Police: West, (360) 487-7355, 2800 NE Stapleton Rd., Vancouver. Open: M-F, 8 am-5 pm, *Controlled and noncontrolled medications- No pill containers*
- Central Transfer & Recycling Center, (360) 256-8482, 11034 NE 117th Ave., Vancouver. *Noncontrolled medications, inhalers and Sharps/syringes * accepted: Fri-Sun, 8 am-4 pm
- West Van Materials Recovery Center (360) 737-1727, 6601 NW Old Lower River Rd., Vancouver. *Noncontrolled medications, inhalers and Sharps/syringes * accepted: Sat, 8 am-4 pm
- Washougal Transfer Station, (360) 835-2500, 4020 S Grant St., Washougal. *Noncontrolled medications, inhalers and Sharps/syringes * accepted: The first and third Saturday of the month, 8 am-4 pm.
Now, during the governor’s Stay Home order, it is more important than ever to lock up medications and dispose of them safely if possible. For other safe free medication drop-off locations across Washington State, visit TakeBackYourMeds.org. You can also visit Starts with One-Take Back Your Meds to learn more about how to safely store medication, dispose of unwanted, unused or expired medication, and the importance of removing prescription opioid medications from homes.