Push to collect unwanted meds intended to prevent misuse
The misuse of prescription drugs occurs in the city of Quincy, in the state of Washington, in the United States of America: it’s no small problem. Dealing with it, however, can start with one small step – one that is taken at home. Some spring cleaning in the medicine cabinet is all it takes.
On April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Quincy Police Department and Quincy Partnership for Youth are holding a joint campaign to retrieve and dispose of medications that are not needed, whether they are prescription medications or over-the-counter. They can be dropped off at the Police Department – a matter of a few minutes with no questions asked. There is a large, well-marked box designated for that purpose by the front door of the police station, at 223 First Ave. SW. The medications can be in their original containers or not.
It is not uncommon to have prescription medications left over from an illness, stashed away and forgotten. However, the drugs may end up in the wrong hands, maybe those of a curious child or a teenager who wants to experiment. In either case, the end-result can be grim. An overdose or addiction is not unusual when using strong medications.
According to the “Starts with One” campaign by the Washington State Health Care Authority, “75 percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them – usually taken from a friend or a family member.”
When Quincy Chief of Police Chief Kieth Siebert received the email from the Drug Enforcement Agency about the nationwide Take Back Your Meds campaign, he contacted Dayana Ruiz, the coalition coordinator with Quincy Partnership of Youth. Ruiz spread the word around and posted fliers around town.
According to Ruiz’s press release on April 10, “the take-back event helps support two campaigns from the HCA, called Starts with One and Take Back Your Meds. These campaigns inform and educate young adults, their parents, and older adults about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and the importance of safe storage, use, and disposal.”
Thanks to funding from the HCA, Quincy Partnership of Youth is able to participate in informing the community about the harms of misusing prescription drugs and how to safely store or dispose of them.
Siebert pointed out that the drug take-back is an ongoing mission with the Police Department. The drop-off box is available to the public every day.
By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register