Unused medications drop-off | Letter to the editor

  • Wed Jul 17th, 2019 1:30am
  • News

Submitted by Kyle Freeman, Berto Gandara, Emilie Gincig, Rick Hughes, Ron Krebs, Brian Moss, Julie Pinardi, Lorena Stankevich and Eric Webb.

Dropping off unused medications at safe-disposal drop-off sites helps keep kids, adults and the environment healthy. Orcas Island has two such drop-off locations. One at Ray’s Pharmacy (does not take back opioid medication) and another dropbox outside the Sheriff substation located at 1323 Mount Baker Road in Eastsound which can be accessed 24 hours a day.

The vast majority of people on Orcas are using medications as prescribed and responsibly. Ninety-four percent of Orcas Island High School students reported on the 2018 Healthy Youth Survey that they had not used a prescription drug that wasn’t prescribed to them in the past month. These are hopeful realities about our community. However, it is a concern that 75 percent of opioid misuse starts when people use medication that wasn’t prescribed for them, usually taken from a friend or family member. Simple steps, like locking up medications and delivering unused medication to local drop off stations, can stop them from being misused.

The problem with old prescriptions is two-fold: If flushed or washed down the drain, they pollute the environment; if left in the medicine cabinet, they can fall into the wrong hands.

How do I drop off my medications? At Ray’s, you can simply walk up to the prescription pick-up counter and ask to deposit your unwanted medication. At the sheriff substation, you can deposit your medication yourself in the dropbox directly outside the front door. It’s unmanned and you drop off meds any time of day. See the photo on the right for a clear picture of where you can drop off your medications.

This message is brought to you by the key leaders of the Coalition for Orcas Youth. Our vision is to foster a community that empowers youth with skills and resources to become compassionate healthy adults. To that end, one of our primary goals is to measurably decrease the availability of drugs and alcohol among the youth in our community. When you drop off your medications at a drop-box location, you are a part of this change process. Please join the Coalition for Orcas Youth and the youth representative with our effort to dispose of our unused medication.