National Drug Take Back Day scheduled Saturday; drop-off spots in Port Angeles, Sequim

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

Unwanted prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicine can be dropped off in Port Angeles or Sequim between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday on National Drug Take Back Day.

Residents can return their unused pills in the main parking lot of the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St., Port Angeles, or the Sequim Police Department, 609 W. Washington St., Suite 16.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office will not participate in Saturday's event, as it collects prescription medication during normal business hours year-round, Chief Criminal Deputy Joe Nole said.

The free and anonymous drug-disposal program is sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Clallam County Sheriff's Office, Port Angeles Police Department and Sequim Police Department.

The idea is to keep unused or expired drugs out of the wrong hands and protect the environment from improper disposal, Clallam County Sheriff's Office Project Coordinator Jim Borte said.

Pills and other medication collected at take-back sites are destroyed by law enforcement in an Environmental Protection Agency-approved incinerator in Eastern Washington, Borte said.

Intravenous solutions, syringes or medical waste will not be accepted because of the risk of blood-borne pathogens.

Sheriff's offices

Medications can be dropped off for disposal every weekday of the year.

Unwanted prescription medication can be taken to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office at 79 Elkins Road in Port Hadlock between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Likewise, the Clallam County Sheriff's Office and Sequim Police Department collect unwanted medication in secure drop boxes in their lobbies during normal business hours.

The Clallam County Sheriff's Office, which operates a shared drug-take-back program with Port Angeles police, is located in the main floor of the courthouse. The office is open weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

The Sequim Police Department is open weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

“This service has been hugely successful in our community, collecting large quantities of prescription medication,” Sequim police said on its website.

“This is free, anonymous and convenient.”

Between July 2009 and December 2012, the Clallam County Sheriff's Office and Port Angeles and Sequim police have collected a combined 9,280 pounds of unwanted medication, Borte said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: April 24. 2014 7:09PM
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