County Medication Take Back Program Removes 600 lbs. Annually

Posted February 22, 2018 at 5:44 am by

Won­der­ing how to safe­ly dis­pose of expired and unused med­ica­tions? Take the med­ica­tions to one of the five per­ma­nent Drop Off Bins locat­ed through­out the Coun­ty for free dis­pos­al. The Drop Off bins are locat­ed at:

  • San Juan Island Sheriff’s Office (Avail­able 24/7)
  • Lopez Island Sheriff’s Substation
  • Orcas Island Sheriff’s Substation
  • Ray’s Phar­ma­cy on Orcas Island
  • Fri­day Har­bor Drug

Please check the “What Can You Take Back” list to see which items are accept­ed. Leave med­i­cines in their orig­i­nal con­tain­ers and, if you wish, mark out any per­son­al infor­ma­tion. Law enforce­ment loca­tions can accept all med­i­cines, includ­ing opi­ate pain med­i­cines and mar­i­jua­na. Cur­rent­ly the drop off bins at our local drug­stores can­not accept any con­trolled sub­stances. Please take any con­trolled sub­stances to one of the Sher­iff Offices on San Juan Island, Lopez Island or Orcas Island for disposal.

Annu­al­ly, over 600 pounds of var­i­ous pre­scrip­tion and Over the Counter (OTC) med­i­cines are col­lect­ed and trans­port­ed for destruc­tion from our com­mu­ni­ty. Get­ting unwant­ed med­i­cines dis­posed of prop­er­ly start­ed in 2010 with a part­ner­ship between our local phar­ma­cies, the San Juan Island, Lopez and Orcas Pre­ven­tions Coali­tions, San Juan Coun­ty Health and Com­mu­ni­ty Ser­vices and the San Juan Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office.

We thank our phar­ma­cies, the Pre­ven­tion Coali­tions and San Juan Coun­ty Sheriff’s Office for sus­tain­ing this part­ner­ship and con­tin­u­ing the col­lec­tion and dis­pos­al with the DEA. The Take Back Your Meds is a state pro­gram that our com­mu­ni­ty imple­ment­ed to pro­vide safe dis­pos­al options for unwant­ed med­ica­tions. Safe­ly dis­pos­ing of unwant­ed and expired med­i­cines using a take-back pro­gram keeps these med­i­cines out of the wrong hands and pre­vents them from enter­ing ground and sur­face water. Many teens mis­tak­en­ly think med­i­cine in the home med­i­cine cab­i­net are safer to abuse than ille­gal drugs.

One pri­ma­ry goal of the pro­gram is to decrease the num­ber of acci­den­tal poi­son­ings occur­ring in the house­hold due to unwant­ed med­ica­tions. This can be caused by med­ica­tion mis­takes due to excess unused med­ica­tions, abuse of opi­ates, and child­hood poi­son­ing due to acces­si­ble med­ica­tions. Cur­rent­ly acci­den­tal poi­son­ing is the num­ber one rea­son for acci­den­tal death in the state of Wash­ing­ton. Con­tact the Wash­ing­ton Poi­son Cen­ter at 1–800-222‑1222 for con­cerns with acci­den­tal poisonings.

Addi­tion­al help­ful links include:,, and

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Categories: Health & Wellness

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