On Saturday, October 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. the Arlington Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 18th opportunity in nine years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal to the Arlington Police Department at 110 E. Third Street, Arlington. Sites cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last spring Americans turned in nearly 470 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 6,250 sites overall and 4,969 at state and local law enforcement departments. Washington State hosted 95 collection sites, including 88 at local police departments. Overall, in its 17 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 11.8 million pounds — over 5,900 tons — of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential environmental, safety, and health hazards.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 26 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com or www.arlingtonwa.gov and click on the Community Events calendar.