I have some good news and bad news about the government’s efforts to take back prescription drugs.
First, the bad news: while the national Prescription Drug Take Back Day was declared, in many communities, a success, the same can’t be said for Kitsap. We weren’t able to find any locations in Kitsap County that was taking back medications last Saturday. And following a scary incident at Mountain View Middle School last week, drop locations surely seem appropriate here.
Now, the good news: on Tuesday, the Bainbridge Island Police Department announced it would be establish a permanent take-back program, so residents can bring their unused prescription drugs in anytime, Monday through Friday, to the police station near the ferry terminal.
Here’s the word from Bainbridge Police Chief Jon Fehlman:
“Medicines save lives and treat illnesses,” he said in a press release. “But, expired or left-over drugs need to be handled safely and disposed of properly to prevent harm to people and our environment. Storing unneeded drugs increases the risk of accidental poisonings and drug abuse. Medications that are flushed into septic systems or wastewater treatment facilities can end up in surface or ground waters, potentially impacting aquatic organisms. Disposal of medications in the trash is not secure, especially for narcotics like OxyContin, and does not guarantee that medications won’t get into the environment.”
“Community demand for a safe and secure way to dispose of medicines is high,” he added. “This service gives citizens a way to dispose of legally prescribed controlled substances like OxyContin and Ritalin safely and securely.”
To my knowledge, they are the first police agency in the county to take on the program. Call the Bainbridge Police Department at (360) 842-5211 for more information.