Attention Redmond residents, there’s an easy and effective way for you to help reduce the rising epidemic of prescription drug abuse, while keeping Mother Nature clean and green.
The second National Drug Take Back Day will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at various locations on the Eastside as well as elsewhere in the nation. The event is what its name implies: Officials will be on hand to accept unwanted and unused prescription drugs for proper disposal. The drugs can be dropped off anonymously at one of the designated locations and there will be no questions asked.
The first National Drug Take Back Day last September yielded the recovery of more than 121 tons of pills nationwide. At the local level, the Redmond Police Department collected more than 180 pounds of prescription drugs at the Spring Recycling and Collection event earlier this month. The Summer Recycling and Collection event is set for July 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the City of Redmond Maintenance Operation Center, 18120 N.E. 76th Street.
“It’s important to properly dispose of unused and expired prescription medicines at our medicine take back stations so that they aren’t abused or contaminating our natural environment,” said Redmond police Lt. Charlie Gorman.
The process to return excess medicine is simple and an important part in trying to combat a complex problem affecting millions of people every day across the country.
Prescription drug overdoses are killing far more people in Washington state than heroin, cocaine and meth combined, according to the Attorney General’s Office. Methadone is the biggest culprit, followed by Oxycodone and Hydrocodone (the opiate in Vicodin).
There simply is an oversupply of pills, particularly opiate painkillers, in our homes. For many, prescription medications are the first drugs they abuse, and they’re obtained from the medicine cabinets of families and friends.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that in 2009 more than 70 percent of people who abused prescription pain relievers got them from friends or relatives. These friends or relatives either willingly share the drugs or the drugs are available for the taking by others. In either case, drug take back events are designed to reduce the amount of drugs that can so easily be diverted for non-medical uses.
Addionally, there are environmental risks that occur when people flush medicines down drains or toilets, or put them in the trash. Improper drug disposal creates environmental contaminants that threaten water quality, aquatic species, and the soil.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths from painkillers have risen from less than 4,000 in the year 2000 to more than 11,000 in 2007, the most recent statistics available.
On Saturday, all of us with unused prescription drugs in our homes can help reduce this death toll. We just need to properly dispose of them, and the National Drug Take Back Day gives us the perfect opportunity.
Redmond does not have a National Drug Take Back Day location, but there are three in Bellevue — and don’t forget July 16, you can turn in more prescription meds to Redmond police at the Summer Recycling and Collection event.
Let’s make it a habit to properly dispose of prescription drugs — an easy, effective way to limit unnecessary pain and deaths in our country.
National Drug Tack Day Eastside locations
There are seven Eastside locations, including three in Bellevue, participating in the National Drug Take Back Day.
• 450 110th Ave NE, Bellevue
• Factoria Mall Substation, 3915 Factoria Blvd SE, Bellevue
• Crossroads Police Substation, 1336 156th Ave NE, Bellevue
• Mercer Island City Hall, 9611 SE 36th St, Mercer Island
• North Bend Park and Ride, E North Bend Way at East McClellan St, North Bend
• 130 East Sunset Way, Issaquah
• SnoFalls Credit Union, 9025 Meadowbrook Way SE, Snoqualmie