Spring clean the medicine chest, too
April 18, 2012
Nothing says spring like multiple days of sunshine in a row and the explosion of brilliant yellow daffodils and dandelion blooms.
Whether or not spring cleaning is on your to-do list, now is a good time to add emptying your medicine cabinet of old or unused prescriptions.
Law enforcement in North Bend and Snoqualmie are hosting one-day pill drop offs on April 28, National Drug Take-back Day.
Last year, law enforcement officials in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington collected 21,500 pounds of unused pharmaceuticals that homeowners didn’t quite know what to do with.
These include everything from antibiotics, pain killers, sleep aids, blood pressure medicines and anything else the doctor prescribed. Many are outdated.
North Bend Police Chief Mark Toner said the service is offered as a public safety measure because prescription drug abuse is a serious and growing problem in this area.
The majority of overdoses, a leading cause of accidental deaths in Washington, involve prescription opiates.
Toner said having those kinds of drugs in your home that aren’t being used “may be a driver behind some burglaries, when suspects target homes with the knowledge that the occupants are likely to have them.”
Three out of five teens are reporting that prescription pain pills are easy to get from their parents’ medicine cabinets, and that it’s surpassing marijuana as a teen’s drug of choice, he said.
Extra medicine lying around the home may be “shared” with other people that could have adverse effects, or they could be stolen by houseguests or an intruder and used to facilitate illegal drug use, he said.
Pill collections will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the North Bend Police Department, 1550 Boalch Ave. N.W., North Bend, and Snoqualmie Police Department, 34825 S.E. Douglas St., Snoqualmie.
Getting rid of medications, rather than hanging on to them for a rainy day, is a no brainer.