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DEA sets prescription drug take back day

by CHARLES H. FEATHERSTONE
Staff Writer | October 27, 2022 3:16 PM

GRANT COUNTY — The Drug Enforcement Agency is encouraging people with old, expired or unused prescription drugs to bring them into their local police departments on Saturday, Oct. 29, as part of the agency’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The DEA, which is responsible for enforcing the nation’s federal drug laws, holds Take Back Days twice a year, according to an agency press release. During the last Take Back Day on April 22, the DEA said it collected more than 720,000 pounds of expired, unwanted and unused prescription medications.

Since starting Drug Take Back Day in 2011, DEA said it has collected more than 15.9 million pounds — nearly 8,000 tons — of old and unneeded prescription drugs. The goal is to give people the opportunity to clean out medicine cabinets by giving them a safe and legal way to dispose of old and excess prescription drugs.

“We’ll put some signs out, but we don’t advertise,” said Quincy Police Chief Kieth Siebert. “A lot of people don’t like the attention when they bring drugs in.”

The Quincy Police Department is collecting prescription drugs at the front desk of its building at 221 1st Avenue SW in Quincy on Saturday. Siebert said the QPF participated in the DEA’s Take Back Day in Both April and October, and the amount of drugs turned in usually isn’t very much.

“We may end up with a pound or two, a couple of pounds if someone cleans out their parents’ closet,” he said.

Both the Moses Lake Police Department and Ephrata Police Departments have year-round drug dropoff boxes in their lobbies, so neither department is actively involved in the DEA event.

“In the lobby, we have a box, and we encourage people to come in and drop drugs off,” said MLPD Chief Kevin Fuhr.

In addition, EPD Chief Kurt Adkinson said the pharmacies at both Walmart and Safeway in Ephrata will accept old, expired and unneeded prescription drugs.

For more information on how to dispose of old or unneeded prescription medications, visit the Food and Drug Administration’s website https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/where-and-how-dispose-unused-medicines.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.

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