King County introduces drug take-backs

July 2, 2013

By Staff

The King County Board of Health has passed rules and regulations to create a prescription drug take-back system for King County residents.

It’s the second system of its kind in the country; the other is being implemented in Alameda County, Calif.

Residents can drop off leftover or expired medication at retail pharmacies and law enforcement offices free, and the collected medicines will be incinerated at “properly permitted facilities,” according to a Board of Health press release. The program will be implemented free of charge to taxpayers; drug manufacturers selling medication in King County will fund the program.

According to Dr. David Fleming, director and health officer for Public Health in Seattle and King County, only about 70 percent of medicines are used, leaving 30 percent of prescription drugs sitting in medicine cabinets. He said in the release that he hopes the new law will decrease drug abuse in the community.

“The more effective solution to the drug abuse crisis is prevention,” board member Dr. Bud Nicola said in the release. “Making it easy for residents to use a take-back system means fewer drugs in medicine cabinets, leading to fewer overdoses and poisonings.”


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