The Hoquiam Police Department’s sixth Drug Take Back Day April 27 allowed 53 people to bring in 122 pounds of unwanted prescription medication for safe disposal.
To date, the department has collected a total of 607 pounds of medication through the Drug Enforcement Administration-sponsored program. The DEA covers the cost of incinerating the medication.
Several bills have been considered in Washington to establish a program funded by pharmaceutical companies to take the cost of disposal off law enforcement, but so far none have been funded.
Hoquiam Chief Jeff Myers expressed his support for such programs.
“It only seems right that the companies actually making the medications, spending millions on advertising and receiving profits should fund community drug-take back programs statewide. This would not only relieve the taxpayer of the cost, it would more likely create regular drop-off sites in all our communities. So far, a funding mechanism has not been established,” Myers wrote in a press release.
“Our department, and undoubtedly many others in our region, would expand collection efforts with an outside drop-box or other safe, fast and convenient system, so long as the collection and disposal costs did not fall to the local taxpayer. I encourage citizens to contact your state legislators to support the creation of a state-wide drug take-back program.”