Sequim Police Sgt. Ken Almberg was surprised by the amount of prescription drugs residents dropped off for safe disposal during the second national drug take-back event April 30.
“This is probably the largest (collection) I’ve ever seen,” he said, pointing to seven boxes filled with prescription drugs. “I thought we’d get a couple shopping bags full.”
The event was organized by local law enforcement, pharmacies and community groups to provide a way to get the medicine off the streets and disposed of safely.
Sequim Police Officer Maris Turner said an estimated 250-300 pounds of prescription drugs were received at the Sequim station.
Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, stopped by the Sequim police station with his children Allison, 9, and Jack, 7, who were also surprised by all the boxes full of medicine.
The prescription medications will be transported to an incinerator in Spokane and destroyed. Van De Wege said this year the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department will be reimbursed by drug companies for the cost of travel.
Van De Wege introduced a bill in the Legislature to establish an umbrella group funded by pharmaceutical companies to pay for the intake and disposal of prescription medication. The bill was defeated but Van De Wege said he will keep trying.
Van De Wege said it is important for people to have a place to drop off their medications so the powerful prescriptions don’t end up in the environment or in the hands of children or drug addicts.
“There is an industry for the illegal use of these drugs,” he said.