SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – A chance to properly dispose of unwanted medications on Sept. 29 netted about 210 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications throughout Snohomish County. Residents cleaned out their medicine cabinets and took products to five secure disposal locations coordinated by the Snohomish County Partnership for Secure Medicine Disposal.
Partnership members include the Snohomish Health District, Snohomish County, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office, the Snohomish Regional Drug and Gang Task Force, the Washington State Patrol, and all local law enforcement agencies.
County residents took meds to the North Precinct of the Everett Police Department, Snohomish Police Department, Arlington Police Department, and Lynnwood Police Department. Lake Stevens Police Department also participated with a collection center at the Bartell Drugs in Frontier Village.
In addition to the twice-yearly drug take-back days, all law enforcement locations in the county take back all unwanted medicines, including controlled substances on a Monday-through-Friday schedule. This includes the NCIS office at Naval Station Everett for those with access, Washington State Patrol office in Marysville, and tribal police stations on the Tulalip and Stillaguamish reservations. The year-around, countywide drop-off access has collected more than five tons of unwanted drugs since 2009.
Lynnwood Police Department is open seven days a week. Many Bartell drugstores in Snohomish County also currently take back unwanted medicines. All sites will accept unwanted vitamins, pet medications, over-the-counter medications, inhalers, and unopened EpiPens. Only law enforcement locations can handle the controlled substances. Site locations and times are available at 425.388.3199 or at www.takebackyourmeds.org.
The Partnership addresses growing community concern about abuse, accidental poisonings, overdoses and contamination of water from unwanted medications. The partners agree that long-term success is dependent on sustainable funding for a statewide program, similar to programs in other countries that are funded by pharmaceutical manufacturers.
The Partnership strongly supports legislation in Washington state which was considered but defeated last year. The proposed bill would have created a statewide medicine take-back program that would require drug manufacturers to pay for the disposal of unused drugs. Learn more at www.takebackyourmeds.org/about.
Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier Snohomish County through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about