YAKIMA, WA – Community partners and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will provide the public with multiple locations across the Yakima Valley to dispose of their unused and expired medications on Saturday, April 27, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
City of Sunnyside:
- Sunnyside Police Department, 401 Homer Street, Permanent Drop Box Location open 24/7
City of Yakima:
- Memorial Cornerstone Medicine, 4003 Creekside Loop, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
- Solarity Credit Union, 105 N. 5th Avenue, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
- Yakima County Sheriff’s Office, 1822 S. 1st Street, 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
Community of Highland (Tieton):
- Highland Food Bank, 616 B Wisconsin Avenue, 8:00 a.m.-10:00 a.m.
Community members can pitch their pills at any of the above locations. Medications that can be disposed include: opioids, expired over the counter medicines, unused prescriptions, and expired pet medications. Sites cannot accept needles or sharps. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked.
National Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.
Mark Peterson, President of Yakima County Crime Stoppers, said 17 disposal boxes of medications were collected at the October 2018 Take Back Day in Yakima. Crime Stoppers has been participating in the event twice a year for the last 10 years.
Programs like Take Back Day and safe medication disposal sites are proven methods for decreasing opioid and drug misuse because they physically remove the abused substances from homes. Since 2014, Yakima County has seen a 5% decrease in 12th graders misusing someone else’s prescription according to the 2018 Healthy Youth Survey Results. The current county average is 8% in comparison to a 7% state average.
Disposing of expired and unused medications keeps communities safer by preventing in-home theft of medications. This further helps our community prevent medication overdoses through risky and un-prescribed use.
Local law enforcement sites and pharmacies are now installing permanent medication disposal drop boxes. Like National Drug Take Back Day, these boxes are free, anonymous, and no questions asked. To find a complete list of drop boxes in Yakima County, please visit: http://www.takebackyourmeds.org/search-by-list/.