Corvallis’ seventh bi-annual Drug Take-Back event will be held at the Benton County Fairgrounds on Saturday, April 30. The event, hosted by the Benton County Sheriff’s Office along with the Philomath Police Department, is held each year in order to assist citizens in safely disposing of expired, unused, or unwanted medications.
Law enforcement officials will accept personal medications, along with unwanted or unused medications belonging to living or deceased family members. According to the Benton County Sheriff’s webpage, all medicines and containers will be destroyed via incineration in an environmentally safe manner. Last year, nearly 300 pounds of unwanted medications were disposed of and 166 vehicles were counted at the event.
Liquids such as cough medicine will be accepted as long as lids are on tight. Though prescription bottles will be burned, anyone donating prescription medication should cover any identifying information on labels—names, addresses, and phone numbers—with black permanent marker.
The primary goal of the event is to keep dangerous and addictive medication out of the hands of children and teens. According to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drugs are the third most misused and abused substances consumed by Americans 14 and older.
Also of concern are effects on the water supply when medicine is flushed down toilets. Though the Federal Drug Administration claimed in a 2015 report that disposed-of medicines were unlikely to affect the environment, some Oregon public water suppliers have taken action to reduce the risk of contamination.
Since 2013, the Clackamas River Water Providers have installed 10 individual drug collection boxes around Clackamas County. Now more than 50 communities in Oregon maintain permanent and free-to-use collection boxes, open for anonymous medication disposal year-round. Regional drop-off sites are presently located at both the Albany and Philomath police departments.
The Drug Take-Back event is hosted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, April 30 at the Benton County Fairgrounds. Lines can be long, so officials advise arriving early. For a full list of accepted medications, visit https://www.co.benton.or.us/
By Kiki Genoa