Washington residents can dispose of prescription drugs and vaping products at take back events on April 30

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News release

For immediate release

April 26, 2022

Washington residents can dispose of prescription drugs and vaping products at take back events on April 30

DEA hosts event to help prevent opioid misuse in community

OLYMPIA – About 75 percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that was not prescribed for them, usually taken from a friend or family member. Simple steps like safely disposing of unused medications can stop them from being misused.

Communities throughout the state are partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in hosting prescription drug take back events from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 30 at several prescription drug take back locations. Prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, vape pens, and other e-cigarette devices will be accepted at these events. Medications can remain in their original containers and labels do not need to be removed. Medications not in their original containers also will be accepted. Vape pens and e-cigarettes with batteries removed will be collected.

“Participating in these take back events is one way people can help tackle the opioid crisis and protect loved ones,” said Dr. Charissa Fotinos, HCA deputy chief medical officer and interim state Medicaid director. “With the increase in drug overdoses in our state and nationally, and the stress, strain, and anxiety of the last several years, it’s more important than ever to do our part to keep communities safe.”

Take back events help to support three statewide campaigns: Starts with OneTribal Opioid Solutionsand Medication Education and Disposal (MED-Project). These campaigns inform and educate young adults, their parents, and older adults about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and the importance of safe storage, use, and disposal, particularly for opioids.

If you are unable to visit a participating location, Washington residents are able to request a pre-paid, pre-addressed medication mail-back envelope through the MED-Project program.


Media contact

Melissa Thoemke, behavioral health communications manager