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The original item was published from 8/15/2019 11:59:08 AM to 8/15/2019 12:03:38 PM.

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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: August 15, 2019

[ARCHIVED] Take Back your Unused Meds on Aug 24/25

Whatcom Med Return logo

Event Details

Saturday, August 24, 10:00am – 1:00pm

East Whatcom Regional Resource Center

8251 Kendall Road, Maple Falls

Sunday, August 25, 10:00am – 1:00pm

Birch Bay Fire Hall (North Whatcom Fire & Rescue Station 63)

4581 Birch Bay Lynden Road, Blaine


Two upcoming drug take-back events will give Whatcom County residents the opportunity to empty their medicine cabinets of leftover or unwanted medications that can pose a risk of poisoning or misuse. 

The two communities were selected for take-back events because they are areas of population density but lack permanent Whatcom Med Return drop-off locations.

Disposing of medications at the take-back events is as quick and easy as driving up and dropping medications in the bins provided, without the need to answer questions or provide further information. Bins are monitored by law enforcement officers, as required by Drug Enforcement Agency rules that govern secure medicine return programs.

Almost all types of medications are accepted at the take-back events, including:

  • prescription medications
  • over the counter medication
  • cough syrup and other liquid medications
  • nasal sprays
  • inhalers
  • medicinal ointments or creams

Illicit substances and sharps, such as needles, are not accepted. Additionally, vitamins, supplements, herbal remedies, cosmetics or personal care products, and pet pesticide products are also not accepted. Medications can be returned in their original containers, with any personal information removed or blacked out if desired. They can also be removed from original packaging and returned in a plastic bag or other container.

The take-back events are part of Whatcom Med Return, Whatcom County’s secure medicine return program that was expanded in 2019. The program includes permanent drop-off locations at clinics, pharmacies, and law enforcement agencies throughout the county. It also includes a mail-back option for people who cannot reach one of the drop-off locations, as well as a requirement for regular take-back events in Birch Bay and Maple Falls.

Disposing of old, unwanted or expired medication is an important part of a multi-pronged effort to reduce opioid misuse. Prescription drugs are often cited as a source of drug misuse, and they can be stolen from home medicine cabinets if not stored in a locked container. Getting rid of unused medications through secure medicine return programs also keeps them out of the waste stream, where they can harm the environment.

Whatcom Med Return is a program operated by MED-Project with oversight by the Whatcom County Health Department.

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