Submitted by The Coalition for Orcas Youth.
On April 24, The Coalition for Orcas Youth joined thousands of communities across the nation, when they hosted a prescription drug take-back event for National Drug Take Back Day. The event concluded a month of promotion for the safe storage and disposal of medications, through informative handouts attached to all prescription bags at Ray’s Pharmacy, posters throughout the community, and online promotion. The take-back event was held at the Key Bank drive-thru in Eastsound.
The goal of take-back events and year-round take-back locations is to provide an opportunity for community members to dispose of unused or expired medication safely and easily. It’s part of a national strategy to prevent the misuse of prescription medications. The 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that “a majority of misused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.” By disposing of your medications at a secured take-back site, you are participating in a community-wide effort to prevent addiction and keep our community healthy!
With the support of Sheriff Ron Krebs and Deputies Herb Crowe and Jason Gross, and students from NextGeneration, the Coalition collected 29 pounds during the four-hour event. Across the country, 420 tons of medications were collected this April 24. Event Coordinator Julie Pinardi stated that “those who showed up emptied out their medicine cabinets! Thanks to ALL of you for all your efforts to make this event successful.”
The next National Drug Take Back Day is in October 2021, but you don’t have to wait until then to dispose of unused medications. A year-round medication take-back box is located at the Orcas Island Sheriff’s substation, 1323 Mt Baker Rd. Due to recent changes, please note that the box is now located inside the station. To safely and securely dispose of medications you will need to enter the building to locate the dropbox. If the station is unattended please call the non-emergency line, 360-298-6466 so a deputy can meet you.
Ray’s Pharmacy, 68 N. Beach Rd, also provides an option to bring medication to the pharmacy window for disposal. At this time they can take all unused medications, besides opioids, during pharmacy hours.
The Coalition for Orcas Youth aims to support all Orcas youth to live up to their full human potential by strengthening community collaboration, reducing substance use, and reducing anxiety and depression among youth. To learn more about our mission or how to get involved, visit www.coalitionfororcasyouth.org.
For more information about preventing opioid addiction, take-back and safe storage of medications, visit www.getthefactsrx.com.