National Drug Take-Back Day is Saturday, April 28
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by Big Island Now Staff
Wondering about a safe way to dispose of those unused and unwanted prescription drugs filling up your medicine cabinet? Then mark Saturday, April 28 on your calendar.
That’s when the Hawaii Police Department, in conjunction with state and federal partners, will take part in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., members of the public can turn in unneeded prescription medications at two sites: in Hilo at the Army Aviation Support Facility (adjacent to Civil Air Patrol) at 1095 Kekuanao‘a Street, and in Kailua-Kona at the Kealakehe Police Station parking lot at 74-611 Hale Maka‘i Place.
Tablets, capsules and other solid dosage forms of drugs will be accepted, but intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not. The drugs will be incinerated according to federal and state environmental guidelines.
Illicit substances such as marijuana and methamphetamine are not part of this initiative.
Keeping unused and expired medicine in your home increases the risk of prescription drug abuse and accidental poisoning, police noted. Proper disposal also helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering water supply sources or potentially harming aquatic life.
Hawaii police are teaming with the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the state Department of the Attorney General, the Department of Public Safety and community partners in this third annual drug take-back day.
The 2011 event resulted in the safe disposal of more than 188 tons of unneeded drugs nationwide. All three events resulted in the collection of more than 498 tons of drugs.
“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three Take-Back Day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart. He said the agency is working to establish a formal process for unwanted drug disposal.
For more information about the drug take-back program, visit www.justice.gov/dea.