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Do you have old prescriptions or unused medications? Too often these end up in the wrong hands and wrong places. Unused or expired prescription medications can lead to accidental poisonings, overdose, and abuse. According to the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers and 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants. The majority of teenagers misusing prescription drugs get them from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. Even prescription drugs thrown in the trash can be retrieved and abused or illegally sold. (And unused drugs that are flushed can contaminate the water supply!) The best way to dispose of unused medications is to utilize local take-back programs.

Tillamook County Community Health Center will be partnering with Tillamook County Solid Waste for this year’s National DEA Drug Take Back Day on October 23rd at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds. Registration is not necessary, just drop in between 10 am and 2 pm.

At the event you can:

- Bring unused or expired medication (prescription or over-the-counter)

- Bring sharps (injectables / needles) in closed red sharps containers for safe disposal

- Receive a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu shot!

- (Please do not bring liquid medications or creams – the best way to dispose of these medications is by mixing them with kitty litter and placing them in the garbage)

This is also an opportunity to dispose of diabetic needles (or other injectables). Sharp objects must be placed in closed red plastic Sharps containers and separated from medications. If you need a red Sharps container for these items, they are available for purchase at many pharmacies. During the week of the event (Oct 17-23), a small number of Sharps containers will be available for pick-up at Tillamook County Fairgrounds at the regularly scheduled vaccine clinics, Tuesday and Thursday 8:30 am – 3pm and Wednesday 1pm – 4pm. Your local healthcare provider or diabetic supplier may also be able to provide more information on where to find Sharps containers.

Safely disposing unused medications is an important way to protect those around you and prevent addiction or overdose. If you’re unable to make it to the event, there are other drug disposal locations across the county (although these locations are only for unused medications and cannot accept sharps or needles). There is a medication drop box at the following locations: Rinehart Clinic & Pharmacy, Rockaway Beach City Hall, Tillamook County Libraries, Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office, Tillamook Pharmacy, Tillamook Police Department. For more information, visit https://ourtillamook.org/drug-disposal-locations/ .

For more local health and wellness information, visit www.tillamookcountywellness.org or follow Tillamook County Wellness on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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