Letters to the Editor

Senate has solution to drug disposal

I applaud those Island County commissioners who voted to support the secure medicine take-back program now under consideration in the state Legislature. Thanks should go to our 10th District Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, for co-sponsoring this bill.

Law enforcement sees first hand some of the effects of unused, unwanted and expired medicines accumulating in homes and available for accidental ingestion by young children and intentional abuse by others. In addition to the 27 county sheriffs supporting the bill, many police departments, substance abuse prevention entities, nurses associations and other health professionals support this medicine take-back program. The bill is also supported by local governments, businesses, water treatment entities, environmental, civic and faith organizations.

Flushing such unwanted medicines down toilets and sinks is not a long-term answer to this problem. Sewage treatment plants do not completely remove medicines from the treated water and many of us have septic systems; land disposal risks the leaching out of pollutants into ground and surface waters.

The Senate bill (SSB 5234) is the answer with the establishment of a take-back program funded by the pharmaceutical industry doing business in the state. This program does not require any state funds, nor will it cost individuals anything to take their meds back to the designated locations.

If you want to add your voice to many others supporting the bill, call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000 to leave a message for our elected leaders.

Elizabeth Davis

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