During the nationwide U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration drug takeback event on Oct. 24, the DEA collected nearly a million pounds of unused, unwanted and expired medications across the nation. The Omaha division, which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota collected 17 tons of medications — 11,413 pounds from Iowa alone. The event, which was the 19th installment of the annual event, yielded the largest amount ever collected.
Washington County Law Enforcement collected 31.4 pounds of pills, including both prescription and over-the-counter medications, and 18.4 pounds of liquids.
The event provided an opportunity for the public to safely dispose unneeded or unwanted drugs, anonymously with no questions asked.
“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse,” said Washington County Law Enforcement in a press release prior to the event. “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”
Anyone looking to dispose of unneeded or unwanted medications, prescription or over the counter, can utilize the 24-hour drop box at the Washington County Jail. Since the last take-back event in October 2019, the drop box has collected 86.4 pounds of medications, said Washington County Sheriff Jared Schneider in an email. He added that safely disposing medications via a take-back event or the drop box helps to prevent environmental hazards and drug abuse.
One-to-One Pharmacy in Kalona and UI Health Care River Crossing Pharmacy in Riverside are also year-round collection sites for unwanted drugs. A full list of authorized take-back sites can be found at deadiversion.usdoj.gov.