King County has launched a robust secure medicine return program. Now, residents can safely dispose of the medicines they no longer need by taking them to drop-boxes located throughout King County. COURTESY IMAGE, King County

King County brings secure medicine return program to the region

Program aims to decrease the risk of drug abuse, overdose and preventable poisonings

  • Friday, February 24, 2017 2:38pm
  • Business

Drug overdoses have surpassed car crashes as a leading cause of preventable death in King County.

Unused, expired, and leftover drugs that accumulate in homes increase the risk of drug abuse, overdose, and preventable poisonings, while unwanted medicines flushed down toilets and sinks or thrown in the trash can end up in the environment. King County has launched a secure medicine return program to reduce these risks.

“We’re making it safer and easier to get unused and expired medication out of medicine cabinets, out of landfills, and out of Puget Sound,” said King County Dow Executive Constantine. “The secured drop-boxes we’re installing throughout King County will reduce fatal overdoses and help stem the growing tide of addiction.”

The program has a collaborative approach to prevention, across communities, government, pharmacies, drug producers, and law enforcement agencies. City of Kenmore Mayor David Baker noted, “This program is protecting our kids and youth from preventable drug abuse, overdoses, and poisonings.”

There are 99 drop-boxes installed and operational, and there are 410 drug producers who are participating.

“Opiate and heroin use is an epidemic requiring multiple responses,” said King County Council Chair Joe McDermott. “Because one-third of prescription and over-the-counter medications go unused in King County and too easily can become gateways to illegal use and addiction, I led efforts to create our secure medicine return program. The program provides a safe, secure, and convenient way to dispose of unwanted medicines.”

Residents can take their unwanted medicines to participating pharmacies and law enforcement offices to dispose of the medicines they no longer need–at no cost to the resident. A full list of participating locations can be found here. Mail-back services are also available to residents who are homebound or have limited mobility, and soon another 14 locations will have mail-back envelopes for residents to take home. Each collection site is run by voluntary participants who are choosing to work together to protect the community – at nearly one hundred locations across the county.

“Unwanted medicines in the home put our families and community at risk,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin of Public Health-Seattle & King County. “Most people who misuse prescription medicines aren’t getting them from drug dealers but from a friend or relative’s medicine cabinet.”

Using a drop-box to dispose of unwanted medicines is safe, convenient, and there is no cost to consumers, either at the time of medicine purchase or return. The program is overseen by Public Health-Seattle & King County and the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, ensuring a successful product stewardship program that reduces risk and enforces approved regulations.

For more information, visit kingcountysecuremedicinereturn.org.

More in Business

Report: State adds more jobs in March; monthly unemployment rate up slightly to 4.6 percent

Washington’s economy gained 27,900 jobs in March and the state’s seasonally adjusted… Continue reading

Kids take flight at circus school

Auburn center teaches skills, confidence as students reach for whatever heights they wish to achieve

3No Networking mixer returns to Bourbon Jacks on Thursday, April 18

Business leaders and guests are invited to a 3No Networking mixer at… Continue reading

Allstate agents giving away disaster preparedness kits to residents

Starting Monday, participating Allstate agents are giving away disaster preparedness kits to… Continue reading

Serving up the savory and smooth tastes at Bella’s

Larry and Joyce Ward open new Italian restaurant in south Auburn

50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s moon landing exhibit opens at Museum of Flight

Northwest businesses join museum to celebrate Seattle’s Summer of Space

Red Cross calls for volunteers to install free smoke alarms

The Northwest Region of the American Red Cross seeks volunteers to help… Continue reading

Why now is the time for millennials, Gen Xers to buy a small business

By Jeremy Field, SBA, for the Reporter When it comes to growing… Continue reading

3No Networking mixer visits Mod Pizza at Lakeland Hills on Thursday, March 14

Business leaders and guests are invited to a 3No Networking mixer at… Continue reading

Most Read