Approximately 200 pounds of unused, unwanted and expired medications were turned into authorities during the weekend’s National Drug Take-Back Day.
The 15 boxes will be sent to Oʿahu for proper disposal.
The event was held on Saturday when Kauaʿi police, along with a representative from the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), collected tablets, capsules, liquids, and other forms of prescription and nonprescription medication, from members of the community.
“Thank you again to our community for your remarkable participation. We were just as surprised as we were in April ̶ when we collected 165 pounds ̶ by the number of people who turned up to drop off their unused medication. I think it’s especially imperative that people be diligent with their expired medications due to the rise in opioid usage and ease with which family members and loved ones can get a hold of prescription drugs within their households,” said Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce. “I also want to thank Life’s Choices Kauaʿi, the DEA, as well as KPD personnel, who assisted with this weekend’s important event.”
When prescription drugs are disposed of properly and in a timely fashion, it can help decrease abuse of these drugs by teenagers or other unauthorized users. It also mitigates the environmental damage that occurs due to improper disposal by private citizens.
Expired medication should not be discarded in the trash or flushed down the toilet. Improperly disposed of prescriptions drugs have the potential to enter the water supply and also harm aquatic life.
Expired medication can also contribute to misuse or abuse of the drug. A majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained it from a family member or friend, according to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
The public can continue to help address these issues by using KPD headquarters’ drop boxes in Līhuʿe at their convenience. Simply leave the medication in its prescription bottle and place the bottle into a clear Ziplock bag upon disposal in one of the green bins by the Records Section Window. The service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked.
Drug Take Back Day is part of a national initiative coordinated by the DEA, which focuses on providing a safe, convenient, and responsible method of disposing medications, while also educating the community about the potential for abuse and consequences of improper storage and disposal.
For more information on the National Drug Take Back initiative, visit the DEA’s website at http://www.dea.gov, or contact KPD Investigative Services Bureau Assistant Chief Bryson Ponce at 808-241-1681.