More than 90% of poisoning deaths in Washington are caused by drugs. So what are you supposed to do with left over medications when you no longer need them?
Medications, even in small doses, can be toxic to children, pets and wildlife. They should not be flushed or placed in the garbage. When you flush medication down the drains, our waste water treatment plants cannot remove all of the toxins so they can end up in the Columbia River. According to the Washington Poison Center, "Scientists have found medicines in surface, ground, and marine waters as well as soils and sediments in the Pacific Northwest."
The best way to dispose of medication is through secure take-back programs at your local pharmacy, police department, or take-back events. Visit www.clarkgreenneighbors.org/meds for more information about safe medication disposal.
In an effort to provide more secure locations for medication take-back programs, the HB 1047 Bill was recently passed on March 22. The bill will require drug manufacturers that sell drugs in Washington to financially support drug take-back programs that dispose of prescription and over-the-counter drugs from residential sources. This bill goes into effect June 7, 2018.
Currently, controlled substances should be taken to your local police department. Over-the-counter and prescription medications can be taken to the local transfer stations or designated drug take-back events. Download the flyer below to find a drop-off location close to you.
Twice yearly, Clark County sponsors a free medication take-back event. Citizens may drop off any type of unwanted medication or drug free of charge with no questions asked. The next take-back event is April 28, 10am-2pm (see blue box above).
- While it is perfectly acceptable to combine all pills into one bag, if you get pulled over it might be easier to explain if you keep them in the original container with the medication's name visible
- The container is sealed and does not leak
- All patient information is removed or obscured
- Sharps are contained in a solid container and visibly labeled