The Hoquiam Police Department participated in the most recent DEA “Got Drugs?” Drug Take Back Day on Saturday. Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers said that they hope to extend the event in the future, but not if the costs fall to the taxpayer.
Officer James Gaddis staffed the department during the four-hour event. 53 citizens dropped off 122 pounds of unwanted medication for disposal. The cost to incinerate this medication was covered by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
This is the sixth time Hoquiam has participated in this program. To date, the department has collected and disposed of 607 pounds of medication since
Changes to federal medication control laws, including the “Secure and Responsible
Drug Disposal Act of 2010” have paved the way to establish takeback programs to take this responsibility off law enforcement.
In the past, the Washington State Legislature has considered several bills to establish a statewide program paid for by the pharmaceutical companies themselves.
Myers said that this could not only relieve the taxpayer of the cost, it would more likely create regular drop-off sites in all our communities.
Hoquiam Police would expand collection efforts, so long as the costs did not fall to the local taxpayer.