County adds drug disposal site in FL

Unused pharmaceuticals collected at Headwaters Service Center

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with Washington County Public Health and Environment, will expand its household pharmaceuticals collection program to include a site in Forest Lake.

The free, anonymous service allows residents to dispose of expired, unused or unwanted over-the-counter and prescription drugs. The local drop-off site is the county’s Headwaters Service Center at 19995 Forest Lake Road N. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The original site, launched in April of 2012 at the Washington County Sheriff’s Office Law Enforcement Center, will remain in service, and a second new collection site will be located at the county service center in Cottage Grove.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has hosted several successful drug take-back events in past years. Thousands of pounds of pharmaceuticals have been transported to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency-approved facilities for destruction.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines left in homes are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, theft, and abuse. Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is increasing, as are the number of accidental poisoning and overdoses due to these drugs.

Studies show that that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Improperly disposing unused medicine by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away is a potential safety and health hazard.