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National Drug Take Back Day: Drop off unwanted medications to protect kids and environment

Federal Way residents who want to participate in National Drug Take Back Day can drop off unwanted or expired medicines, including pain relievers and other controlled substances from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at the Federal Way Police Department, 33325 8th Ave. S.

The event highlights the need for safe drug disposal to reduce the risk of abuse and accidental poisoning. The event is sponsored by Federal Way police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to provide free and anonymous returns of unused medications. The program also helps protect the environment because improper drug disposal — such as flushing drugs down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — can contaminate soil and water.

In Washington state, poisonings are the leading cause of accidental deaths, surpassing car crashes and falls, according to a 2010 study from the state Department of Health. Each year, the state spends $31.7 million to hospitalize and treat children for unintentional poisonings from medicines, according to the Take Back Your Meds coalition.

To learn more about the program, visit www.takebackyourmeds.org.

 

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