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

Vinifera’s owners to open pub on A Street Southeast this spring

For nearly three years, Vinifera Wine Bar and Bistro has operated in… Continue reading

Cascade Eye Skin Center hosts 3No Networking mixer on Jan. 23

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

Auburn taproom welcomes in exercise class

On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, between 10:30 and… Continue reading

Commencement Bank opens new branch in Auburn

Commencement Bank opened its new Auburn Branch on Jan. 2 to better… Continue reading

Guardian Roofing of Auburn presents Guardian Halo Project

Giving back: nominate someone in need of a roof repair or replacement

Christmas and New Year’s Day reminder for Waste Management customers in King County

There will be no service for Waste Management customers in King County… Continue reading

Village Concepts honored at Seattle Family Business Awards with the gold award for Large Family Business

Auburn’s Village Concepts, a third-generation family owned business that provides care for… Continue reading

The 2010s were a decade of perseverance for small businesses

By Jeremy Field, Regional administrator, Pacific Northwest, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)… Continue reading

Boeing Renton plant to halt 737 Max production

Suspension expected to begin in January

Business alliance serves women of African diaspora in South King County

Nourah Yonous launched the African Women Business Alliance in 2017 to find ways to lift women up.

CEVA Logistics to lay off 13 workers

CEVA Logistics, a logistics and freight management solutions provider in Auburn, is… Continue reading