Spokane County Deputies Help Residents Get Rid Of Expired And Un - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Spokane County Deputies Help Residents Get Rid Of Expired And Unused Prescription Medications

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SPOKANE, Wash. - SPOKANE Wash.- Today is national prescription drug take-back day which means all across the country people are handing over their expired or unused medications.          

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports one hundred people die from drug overdoses everyday in the United States. That's why police are doing everything they can to keep those drugs out of the wrong hands. Today, the Spokane County Sheriff's Office had it's second Prescription Drug Take Back event of the year. Right now, there is a growing problem in Spokane with prescription drug abuse that could only get worse if we don't do something about it.  

Deputy Chris Johnston says "prescription drug trafficking and abuse is a big problem right now. We're seeing kids starting to explore and abuse because they can go to the medicine cabinet and most of the time they don't even know what it is or know what the effects of it are."  All day long, people dropped off prescription drugs. Over-the-counter medications, vitamins, ointments, and even prescriptions that once belonged to their pets.
    
The only thing the sheriff's office doesn't collect are syringes and other injectable drugs. There's also no limit to how much or how little people can bring and deputies take them off your hands, no questions asked. Although Saturday's event may look small, it's a big step toward keeping these pills from people who may abuse them.
    
After the prescriptions are collected, the drugs are then weighed and sent directly to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration where they will be incinerated. This ensures that the pills will never end up in the wrong hands or be recycled and show up again somewhere else. While you can throw away the medications in your garbage at home, deputies say that still may not be enough. It's possible someone could still fish it out of your trash.  
    
They also don't recommend flushing pills down the toilet because the drugs could have a negative affect on your sewer system and pipes and end up hurting wildlife if the chemicals end up in the water. Aside from safety, another reason to hand your pills directly to police is because it's an item many burglars will take if they break into your home.

The Spokane County Sheriff's Office estimates they collected a couple hundred pounds of pills. At the last event in April, they collected 430 pounds.


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