The rattle of a partially filled prescription bottle clangs familiar in your mind because of how common these little jangling containers really are. Over 33% of prescriptions pills go unused. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently reported that five million American adults are misusing prescription stimulants such as Adderall, a prescription drug typically prescribed to a patient with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Of these five million adults over half stated that they had misused stimulants due to the supposed boost of alertness or mental focus. While research has shown that this increase is inconsistent and only minimal, the prescriptions continue. While these statistics are shocking, those belonging to the opioid crisis are horrifying. Every day over 115 people die from overdosing on opioids like prescription pain killers.
Regardless of whichever is left ringing in your pill bottle the important part is that you need to dispose of them properly. The Woodinville Police Department (17301 133rd Ave NE, Woodinville, WA 98072) has started a Secure Medicine Return Program to help the city’s residents rid themselves of a potential trigger to tragedy. The drop box is located on the first floor across from City Hall next to the police counter.
It is extremely important to note that you should not flush your unused prescription pills unless it clearly states they are flushable on the bottle. The medicines can be very harmful to animals and plant life and will not be filtered out of the sewer system before being introduced into the environment.
While these issues and their sweep across the country, the state, and even the immediate region are worrisome, there is a massive swing against the scourge of prescription pill misuse. On March 22, Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1047 also referred to as the Secure Drug Take-Back Act, that was sponsored by Rep. Strom Peterson of the 21st Legislative District. This is monumental because it mandates that pharmaceutical manufactures that sell prescription drugs in the state of Washington will have to pay for the drug take-back program rather than flipping the cost onto the taxpayers. Washington House Democrats stated, “A majority of people who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from family and friends, including the medicine cabinet. In Washington state, overdose deaths have surpassed car accidents as the most common cause of accidental death, with over 400 opioid overdose deaths attributed to prescription opioids in 2016.”
Prescription drugs also contribute significantly to accidental poisonings, often by young children via ingestion, and suicide. In 2015, 150 suicides were attributed to medications of some kind.
Because of this bill, Washington will be the first of the 50 with a statewide system for drug collection and disposal that will be entirely financed by the pharmaceutical companies. The estimated cost is $5.7 billion which sounds unfathomable until it is realized that this is but 0.1% of the annual sales made by pharmaceutical companies in the Washington market.
To learn more about Woodinville’s Secure Medicine Return Program please visit
To find other drug take-back locations please visit http://www.takebackyourmeds.org/what-you-can-do/locations/temporary-drop-off-locations/