Residents who have unwanted or expired prescription medication in their home medicine cabinets will have the chance to properly dispose of them this weekend as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, according to a news release from the City of Bellingham.
The prescription drugs can be brought to the Bellingham Police Department at 505 Grand Ave. on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for safe disposal.
The service is free and anonymous, but is limited to residential drop-offs, meaning no businesses may bring their expired prescription drugs. Liquid medications and sharps – a medical term for devices with sharp points or edges that can puncture or cut skin – will not be accepted.
The increasing rate of prescription drug abuse across the U.S. has become a public health crisis, and unwanted medicines stored in home cabinets can lead to poisonings, misuse and abuse, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Flushing unwanted medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can lead to pollution in waterways, the release said.
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Over the last 13 years of the Take Back program, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 8.1 million pounds – or more than 4,050 tons – of pills, officials said.
Residents can also dispose of their medicine year-round through the city’s Medicine Return Program, and can bring them to Hoagland Pharmacy, Unity Care NW Pharmacy, or Haggen pharmacies.
Prescription narcotics and other controlled substances, such as Codeine, Hydrocodone, OxyContin, Percocet, Ritalin, Vicodin and Xanax are only accepted at the police department.
Where to take your drugs
▪ Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Bellingham Police Department, 505 Grand Ave.
▪ Hoagland Pharmacy, 2230 Yew St., Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
▪ Unity Care NW Pharmacy, 218 Unity St., Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed 12:30 to 1 p.m.)
▪ Haggen pharmacies at Barkely (2900 Woburn St.), Meridian (2814 Meridian St.), and Fairhaven (1401 12th St.), open 24 hours.
▪ Prescription narcotics and controlled substances can be taken to the Bellingham Police Department, Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
▪ For information visit cob.org/medreturn