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You know how sometimes you don’t even notice those bottles of unused prescription drugs accumulating in the medicine cabinet? Maybe they were pain relievers that outlasted the pain, so you didn’t take them all. Maybe the expiration date passed. Maybe the person who had the pills no longer lives in your house.
Those are just the sort of drugs that some people abuse. So it’s generally not a good idea to just toss them in a wastebasket, from which someone else (including a child) could take them, or to flush them down the toilet, where they can enter water bodies and harm the environment or people.
Saturday is the day you can dispose of them safely through the national Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In Ketchikan, according to the DEA, Alaska State Troopers will be accepting the drugs at The Plaza Mall. The state and DEA say new collection sites are being added every day. You can see what sites are available, and get other information on the day, online at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html
This is the fifth such day scheduled by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, which reports that in the preceding take-back days, Americans have turned in more than 1.5 million pounds of medication. Those are drugs that won’t get into the wrong hands. In Alaska, in one day alone last April, the Department of Environmental Conservation reports, more than a ton was collected.
That’s good for all of us. Check around your house to make sure you don’t have any unwanted or expired prescription drugs. If you do, get rid of them easily on Saturday. You’ll be doing yourself and the rest of us a favor.