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New Statewide Program Makes ‘Take Back Day” Every Day

A statewide program looks to make it easier than ever for residents to safely dispose of their leftover prescription medications. 

A release on behalf of the Washington State Health Care Authority tells KXRO that the program, called MED-Project, has been put in place at several pharmacies in the form of a kiosk or drop box which people can put their leftover medications in.

MED-Project.org makes it simple for people to find a location near them, all they have to do is type in their zip code, and participating pharmacies will be listed. 

The website features a map of local drop boxes available to the public at local pharmacies.

The rollout of the MED-Project, short for Medication Education and Disposal, means that anyone in Washington can now dispose of their prescription medications every day of the year with hundreds of new locations, and a new mail-back option that means residents don’t need to leave their homes to safely dispose of old or unused prescriptions.   

Dozens of communities across the state have held Take Back Day events in April at police stations, pharmacy parking lots, and schools to encourage Washingtonians to get rid of old or unused prescriptions – particularly opioids – to decrease the likelihood of them falling into the wrong hands and becoming misused.  

“Seventy-five percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them – usually taken from a friend or family member,” said Dr. Charissa Fotinos, deputy chief medical officer for the Health Care Authority (HCA). “Simple steps, like disposing of old or unused medications can prevent them from being misused.”    

In an ongoing effort to combat the opioid crisis and prevent overdose deaths, the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) and opioid misuse prevention coalitions all across the state have promoted the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take Back Days – one in October and one in April – every year.   

This year, things are starting to look a little bit different when it comes to medication disposal. 

The MED-Project program revitalizes the safe disposal infrastructure in our state by vastly increasing the number of safe disposal pharmacy locations and by introducing the option to order pre-paid, discreet mail back envelopes online for free. The website also enables users to easily find convenient take back locations near them by simply typing in their zip code.  

This program supports two statewide campaigns from HCA: Starts with One and Tribal Opioid Solutions.  These campaigns inform and educate young adults, their parents, and older adults about the dangers of prescription drug misuse and the importance of safe storage, use and disposal, particularly for opioids.  

HCA is excited to see more safe medication take back options that are available to residents every day of the year. While Take Back Day events will still be valuable resources, particularly in rural communities with fewer disposal locations, this is a positive step forward for Washington, as the blow of the pandemic continues to fuel the flames of the opioid epidemic. 

 To find a safe disposal location near you or to order a free mail back envelope, visit MED-Project.org  

To learn more about the Starts with One campaign, go to GetTheFactsRX.com

To connect with HCA visit: Facebook, Twitter, www.hca.wa.gov 


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