Dispose of prescription drugs and vaping products at take-back events

Submitted by the Washington Health Care Authority

People around the state can safely dispose of their unused medications and vaping products during events around the state on Oct. 24.

Drop-off locations in San Juan County are the Lopez Island Sheriff Substation, 2228 Fisherman Bay Road, Lopez; San Juan County Sheriff Office, 96 Second St. N, Friday Harbor; Friday Harbor Drug, 210 Spring St., Friday Harbor; and the Orcas Island Sheriff Substation, 1323 Mt. Baker Road, Eastsound.

“Although you can take back your unused medications any time, the take-back event provides a reminder to properly dispose of medications and protect loved ones,” HCA Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Charissa Fotinos said.

The Drug Enforcement Administration will host prescription drug take-back events at several locations in Washington. Prescription, over-the-counter medications, vape pens, and other e-cigarette devices will be accepted. Medications can remain in their original containers and labels do not need to be removed. Medications not in their original containers also will be accepted. Vape and e-cigarette with batteries removed will be collected.

This take-back event helps support three statewide campaigns from the Health Care Authority: Starts with One (https://getthefactsrx.com/), Tribal Opioid Solutions (http://watribalopioidsolutions.com/), and Take Back Your Meds (http://www.takebackyourmeds.org/). These campaigns inform and educate young adults, their parents, and older adults about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and the importance of safe storage, use and disposal, particularly for opioids.

About 75 percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them, usually taken from a friend or family member. Simple steps like safely disposing of unused medications can stop them from being misused.