Dispose of unneeded medication at police department

February 11, 2009

By Staff

NEW — 9 a.m. Feb. 11, 2008

The Issaquah Police Department is launching a new medicine disposal program aimed at not only preventing the improper use of medications , but also helping to protect the environment.

“It’s time to clean out your medicine cabinet,” Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers said in a press release sent out this morning. “Saving unused or expired medications can lead to improper and illegal use, which has become increasingly common among teens and adults. In turn, when you have finished your course of treatment or stopped using a medication, it’s best to dispose of it.”

Properly disposing medication, however, can be a challenge. Flushing medicine down the toilet may have potential harmful effects on the environment. In addition, septic systems and modern water treatment plants are not fully designed to deal with medication disposal. 

Many safety experts also strongly discourage throwing medications into the trash, where children or pets could find them. So, what’s the solution?

Here are some options:

  • Check the instructions — Sometimes guidance is provided right on the label. It is your decision if that guidance meets your needs. 
  • Call your pharmacy — Find out if your pharmacist can dispose of your unneeded medication. Some pharmacies have a medication disposal program. 
  • Return it to your doctor — This is another good option, however, just like pharmacists, not all physicians or doctor offices have the resources to safely handle the disposal process.  
  • Drop off unneeded medications at the Issaquah Police Department — Issaquah residents may bring unneeded medication, both prescription and over-the-counter, to the police department for proper disposal. The medications can be turned in at the station, 130 E. Sunset Way, from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. 

Those dropping off medication to the Issaquah Police Department must also:

  • Provide proof of Issaquah residence, along with proper identification. 
  • Drop off the medication in its original container, with the medication name legible. Any personal information and the prescription number may be crossed out.  
  • Fill out a “permission to dispose” form.   

“We hope this program will make it easier for Issaquah residents to properly dispose of their unneeded medication, which will ultimately benefit our families, community and environment,” Ayers said.

Learn more by calling the department at 837-3200.

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