OLYMPIA – Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna warns that hanging on to unneeded pain pills and improperly disposing of prescriptions are fueling a surge in drug overdoses. This Saturday, McKenna joins the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Kennewick Police Chief Ken Hohenberg to encourage local residents to turn in their unused medications.
“Many teens freely admit that they’ve experimented with prescription drugs found in their parents’ medicine cabinets,” McKenna said. “Unfortunately, young people often don’t understand that they’re playing a deadly game. When misused, these drugs kill.”
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death — exceeding car accidents — in Washington state. According to the Health Youth Survey, 12 percent of high school seniors say they’ve used prescription drugs to get high. Deaths and hospitalizations have increased dramatically since 1995.
Last year’s take-back event disposed of 4.5 tons of prescription drugs in Washington state. Saturday’s event, spearheaded by the DEA, offers a chance to drop off unused or expired medications, which will be destroyed in an environmentally friendly manner. All prescription drugs are accepted, no questions asked. The service is free.
The event runs Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Kennewick Police Department, 211 W. 6th Ave. McKenna will attend from 11 a.m. – noon.
For take-back locations in other parts of the state, visit DEA.gov or call 1-800-882-9539.
Janelle Guthrie, Director of Communications, (360) 586-0725