Northland residents are encouraged to turn in their unwanted prescription drugs during Drug Take Back Day on Saturday.
Each month, police departments receive about 300 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs from residents who drop them into boxes around the tri-county area.
“That’s an incredible amount of unwanted medication that we are keeping out of the water supply and out of the hands of those who might want to misuse,” said Vicki Ward, prevention services manager at Tri-County Mental Health Services.
Tri-County, the Northland Coalition and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration have collaborated to make the program possible.
Nationwide, prescription drugs are the chief cause of fatal drug overdoses and have overtaken overdoses from heroin and cocaine, said Ward.
“Most people keep their prescriptions in the bathroom, the one area where people can go in and have complete privacy,” said Ward. “I can’t put enough emphasis on safeguarding those that you have in your possession.
“As a rule of thumb, we just suggest people not keep their prescription medications in an area where those who want to abuse it could easily get to it.”
Prescription drop boxes are accessible 24 hours a day, unless noted otherwise, at the following locations:
▪ Excelsior Springs Police Department lobby, 301 South Main St.
▪ Gladstone Police Department, 7010 N. Holmes St.
▪ Kearney Police Department, 725 W. Missouri 92; weekdays 8 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.
▪ Kansas City Police North Patrol lobby, 1001 N.W. Barry Road.
▪ Kansas City Police Shoal Creek Patrol lobby, 6801 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road.
▪ Liberty Police Department, 101 E. Kansas St.
▪ North Kansas City Police Department, 2020 Howell St.
▪ Platte County Sheriff’s Department, 415 Third St., Platte City; weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
▪ Richmond Police Department, 205 Summit St.; weekday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
▪ Riverside Police Division, 2990 N.W. Vivion Road; weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
▪ Smithville Police Department, 107 W. Main St.; weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Items not accepted are illegal drugs, sharp objects, including needles, radioactive medicines, bio-hazardous materials, glass thermometers or other medical devices.
If illegal drugs are found, call your local police department and ask for an officer to respond to the location.
If you are unable to drop drugs off, Ward recommends that you remove and shred labels from the bottles, crush pills and mix them with coffee grounds or kitty litter, then place the mixture in a sealed container or bag and throw it with trash.
Dropping off unused prescription drugs also helps the environment.
“We don’t want people pouring medications down the sink or flushing them down the toilets because, while we do have a filtering system, some of the medications can get into the water supply,” said Ward.
For more information, call Ward at 816-877-0411.
| Norma King, Special to The Star