In 2013 King County Board of Health adopted the Secure Medicine Return Regulations. This program allowed unwanted and expired medicines to be collected and safely disposed. The cities of Black Diamond and Covington have taken part in the program since Feb. 16.
The reason Covington and Black Diamond were chosen is because they had law enforcement offices and pharmacies that volunteered to host a drop-box at their location, according to Taylor Watson, the program implementation manager for the program.
The Covington MultiCare clinic pharmacy and the Black Diamond Police Department will have drop boxes available, Watson said.
“They are helping the community to reduce preventable poisonings and drug use,” Watson said.
The abuse of medicines in the home occurs more than many people would assume. A few statistics were found about the dangers of having medicines around the home.
A leading cause of preventable poisoning for children under age six is medicines found in the home, Watson said. Many teens mistakenly believe it is safe to misuse prescription and over-the-counter drugs because they get them from the home medicine cabinet. More than half of teens surveyed said they got the drugs they abuse from their family or a friend’s medicine cabinet, often without anyone’s knowledge.
More than 50 percent of seniors take more than five medications daily. They often store the medicines that are no longer needed with the medications they do need, which can put them at risk of taking incorrect medicines. And finally, reducing access to unwanted medicines is a part of helping to reduce prescription drug abuse, preventable poisonings and overdose.
By having drop boxes readily available to get rid of unwanted medicines, residents will be able to help protect kids, families and the community.
Currently there are 99 drop boxes around King County. They are free for anyone.