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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Oct. 26 offers safe disposal of medications


October 22, 2013

An extra chance to securely dispose of unwanted medications is offered Saturday, Oct. 26 at police stations and some pharmacies throughout Snohomish County.

Residents are encouraged to clean out their medicine cabinets and take unused prescriptions to secure disposal locations coordinated by the Snohomish County Partnership for Secure Medicine Disposal. All sites will accept unwanted vitamins, pet medications, over-the-counter medications, inhalers, and unopened EpiPens as well as controlled substances such as painkillers. Site locations and times are available at or by calling 425.388.3199.

“Law enforcement, public health, and environmental professionals support take-back programs as the safest and most responsible way to get rid of unwanted and expired medicines that might otherwise harm people or the environment,” said Jonelle Fenton-Wallace, the Snohomish Health District representative on the Snohomish Regional Drug & Gang Task Force.

In addition to twice-yearly drug take-back days, all law enforcement locations in the county take back unwanted medicines, including controlled substances, throughout the year Monday through Friday. Year-round drop-off locations include 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 sites have collected more than 9 tons of unwanted drugs since 2009. Year-round locations can be found at by searching for “unwanted medicine”.

The Snohomish County Partnership for Secure Medicine Disposal addresses growing community concern about abuse, accidental poisonings, overdoses and contamination of water from unwanted medications. Year-round programs ensure that residents have ongoing access to safe disposal of unwanted and expired medicines. The partners agree that long-term success is dependent on sustainable funding for a statewide program. In some countries, drug-return programs are funded by pharmaceutical manufacturers.

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.

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 the Health District at

Local sites include:

City: Granite Falls

Time: 10 am – 2 pm

Location: Granite Falls Police Department

205 South Granite Avenue

Granite Falls, WA 98252

City: Lake Stevens

Time: 9 am – 1 pm

Location: Bartell Drugs (hosted by Lake Stevens Police Department)

621 SR 9 NE

Lake Stevens, WA 98258


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