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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Washington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 23, 2018

Prescription Drug “Take Back Day” in the Eastern District of Washington

Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., is National Prescription Drug “Take Back Day.” The event is an effort to rid homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Last autumn, Americans nation-wide turned in 456 tons (912,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,300 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Of those numbers, Washington State collected 15,473 pounds of prescription drugs at approximately 71 collection sites operated by the DEA and 59 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 14 previous “Take Back” events, DEA and its partners have taken in more than 9 million pounds – more than 4,500 tons – of pills.

The disposal service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Liquids, needles, or sharps cannot be accepted at the sites, only pills or patches.

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 safety and health hazards.

Law enforcement agencies scheduled to participate as collection sites include: Kennewick Police Department; Pasco Police Department; Pullman Police Department; Richland Police Department; Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office; Walla Walla Police Department; West Richland Police Department; and Yakima Police Department. In Spokane County a year-round disposal site is located in the Spokane Valley Police Department lobby, 12710 E. Sprague Avenue, Monday through Friday, 8:00 – 5:00.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs and the April 28, 2018 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com

Updated April 23, 2018