Law enforcement officials on Whidbey Island are again asking residents to turn in unwanted medication.
Oak Harbor Police, the Island County Sheriff’s Office and the Coupeville Marshal’s Office are holding their fifth “Drug Take Back.”
The event is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at three island locations.
Goal of the program is to get unwanted medicine out of people’s homes in order to prevent accidental poisonings, drug abuse and drug-seeking burglaries. Safe disposal also keeps hazardous medicines from polluting the environment.
Oak Harbor police will accept medications in the front lobby of the police department. The Coupeville marshal will accept medications at Town Hall.
The Island County sheriff will be at the South Precinct on East Harbor Road in Freeland.
Sheriff Mark Brown said the emphasis of the program is on prescription pain pills, but that any type of unused or expired prescription medicine are accepted.
There’s definitely a need. Hundreds of pounds of pills from Whidbey residents were collected and sent to the Drug Enforcement Agency for destruction.
Coupeville Marshal Lance Davenport said a cancer patient’s family brought in seven pounds of medication for disposal last year.
Another man surrendered a bag full of pills that dated back to the late 1960s.
“It really dawned on me, having small children, what a danger it is to have unnecessary medication around the house,” he said.
Oak Harbor Police Chief Ed Green said he saw cases in which drug addicts look through obituaries for people who’ve died from a disease likely to require pain pills and then burglarize those people’s homes.
“You really want to get them out of your house.”