KENNEWICK, WA - Pain killers and other drugs sitting in your cupboards can be a real danger. They can get old, or worse, be used by someone they're not intended for. It's a serious matter. Overdose deaths in Washington have increased by more than 40% since 1999. Most of those are from prescription drugs.
Police Departments nationwide have been partnering with the DEA for a few years now for Drug Take Back days. The next big push is this weekend. On Saturday, you can stop by just about any police station and you'll have a place to leave your unwanted, old and unused prescription drugs.
It's safe, it's anonymous and getting rid of the drugs this way ensure they're not getting into the wrong hands.
"If you have teens, there's always that temptation. They can take them and trade them or sell them at school. So, a lot of bad things can happen. Surprisingly, kids will take these drugs and not even know what they do. Take a whole mixture of different colors. That's scary. It could be an antibiotic or a painkiller. They don't know and they don't care," said Sgt. Ken Lattin of the Kennewick Police Department.
Sgt. Lattin said the drugs are also a draw for burglars. After Saturday's take back day the local police departments hand over their hauls to the DEA who then safely incinerate them.
Places you can drop drugs off from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on Saturday:
Richland Police Department Kennewick Police Department Pasco Police Department
Walla Walla Police Department College Place Police Department