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Bainbridge, Belfair Offer Drop-offs for Unused Prescription Drugs

Not many places take old, expired prescription drugs. But a week after installing a free drop box to do just that, the Bainbridge Island, WA police know there’s plenty of unwanted medications to go around.

Unfortunately there are not enough medicine take-back programs for Washington residents to take unwanted medicines for safe disposal. After only a week after installing a free drop box to collected unwanted medicines in Bainbridge Island, WA, the police were amazed at how much they had collected.  “When we opened the box, over 300 (bottles) flowed out on to the floor,” Bainbridge Police Chief Jon Fehlman said. “We had to get additional bags just to bag it up. It confirmed for us that there is a need out there.”

“We do have an aging community and we get inquiries all the time from folks who are caring for an elderly parent, or who had one pass away, and they’ve got a thousand dollars worth of prescription drugs to get rid of,” Fehlman said.

Fehlman noted that drugs not used by residents should be disposed of properly to keep them from young children who could accidentally take them, to prevent teens from taking them or sharing them with others and to prevent harm to the environment. Storing unneeded drugs increases the risk of accidental poisoning and drug abuse, especially among teenagers.

 “It’s a cost-effective service that’s simple to do, and people are excited about it” Fehlman said.

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