A safe way to get rid of medications | In Our Opinion

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, prescription drug abuse is on the rise and is second only to marijuana. According to the agency, young adults ages 18 to 25 have the highest rate of prescription drug abuse, followed by teens ages 12 to 17. Some 71,000 children younger than 18 are seen every year in emergency rooms because of unintentional overdoses of prescription or over-the-counter medication.

In many cases, medications are obtained from friends or from home. As stated in our front-page series on heroin use in Kitsap County, abuse of opiates — including prescription medications like Oxycontin and Percoset — is on the rise. And one of the most common sources of those medications is the household medicine cabinet.

Participate in the upcoming Drug Take-Back Program event and get rid of expired and unused medications.

On Oct. 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, Bainbridge Island Police Department and Suquamish Police Department will accept expired and unused medications. This is a national endeavor under the auspices of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and held locally with assistance from the Kitsap Public Health District. The drug take-back program is anonymous — those turning in medications do so without having to provide any information.

Locations: Sheriff’s Community Resource Office, Kitsap Mall, 10315 Silverdale Way NW, Silverdale; Bainbridge Island Police Department, 625 Winslow Way East, Bainbridge Island; Suquamish Police Department, 18490 Suquamish Way NE, Suquamish.

At those locations, you can dispose of prescription and over-the-counter medications only. All solid medications and non-injectable liquids, such as cough syrup and liquid Tylenol, will be accepted. All drugs must be in some type of container or bag. Don’t mix different drugs in containers or bags as reactions can occur.

Types of drugs that can’t be accepted:

— Illicit substances, such as methamphetamine.
— Marijuana.
— Syringes and medical waste.

This event complements the permanent drug take-back program ongoing in the lobbies of the sheriff’s Silverdale and Port Orchard offices, open during regular business hours. This weekend event provides a disposal opportunity for residents who may not be able to drop off their unwanted medications on a weekday.

Safe medicine disposal reduces drug abuse and accidental poisoning. If you dispose of medications in the trash, they will enter a landfill and, eventually, will dissolve and make their way into the environment as leachate.

Medications disposed of in residential septic systems eventually enter the water table.

Medications dumped into municipal sewage systems eventually enter wastewater treatment facilities which are not designed to filter these substances, and make their way into Puget Sound.

Do your part to keep your family and your community safe by removing unwanted medications from your household.



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