Drug Take Back event is Saturday | VailDaily.com

Drug Take Back event is Saturday

Daily staff report

VAIL — The Vail Police Department is participating in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday. The collection takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Vail Municipal Building, 75 S. Frontage Road. This is an opportunity to clean out your medicine cabinets of all unwanted, expired or unused medications and have them disposed of safely. Getting rid of unused medications helps prevent accidental and intentional misuse of these items while safe disposal protects water sources by keeping drugs out of wastewater and the landfill. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

The collected items will be incinerated in an environmentally friendly manner by the Drug Enforcement Administration which spearheads the national effort. Locally, the National Take Back Initiative is being coordinated by the Safe Drug Disposal Program, a partnership between the Vail Police Department, Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Eagle River Water & Sanitation District, Eagle County and Vail Valley Medical Center.

If you can’t make it to Vail, there will be collection sites at the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District Field House in Edwards, and Costco in Gypsum from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Items that can be dropped off include vitamins, supplements, medicated ointments/lotions, over-the-counter and prescription medications, including controlled substances. Please, no needles (sharps) or pressurized canisters.

In its 10 previous nationwide Take Back events from 2010-2015, more than 2,858 tons of medications have been collected.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. The majority of prescription drug abusers report in surveys that they get their drugs from friends and family. Americans understand that cleaning out old prescription drugs from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and bedside tables reduces accidents, thefts and the misuse and abuse of these medicines, including the opioid painkillers that accounted for 20,808 drug overdoses — 78 a day — in 2014, according to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eight out of 10 new heroin users began by abusing prescription painkillers and moved to heroin when they could no longer obtain or afford those painkillers. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information, call Sgt. Justin Dill of the Vail Police Department, 970-477-3409.