If you’ve got unwanted prescription medications around your home, the Bonney Lake Police Department wants you to swing by and dispose of them in their lobby.
A brand-new — and more importantly, permanent — medicine disposal drop-off location was installed at the BLPD on Veterans Memorial Drive just last week.
While various prescription medications can be dangerous to have just lying around, BLPD officer Daron Wolschleger stressed the importance of getting opioids safely disposed of.
“We’ve seen the rising rates of addiction, just like everywhere else, in all the other communities. And with the rising addiction rates, we’re seeing rising criminal issues — burglary, thefts, etc. — pretty much what everyone else is seeing across the board,” Wolschleger said. “That why this is exciting, to have this to help out.”
According to the Washington state Department of Health, more than 10,000 people in the state have died of an opioid overdose since 2000, as well as close to 18,000 overdose hospitalizations.
More than 42,000 people died of an opioid overdose nationwide in 2016, and 40 percent of those deaths were attributed to prescription opioids, according to the Center for Disease Control.
Typically, the only time Bonney Lake residents will be able to drop of their unwanted medications is during BLPD business hours, but Wolschleger said the department is willing to accommodate those who can only come to the lobby after hours.
There are other drop-box locations around the Plateau. The Buckley police department also has one in their lobby, open during most business hours, and the Enumclaw Police Department has a drop-box that is accessible 24 hours a day.
These drop-boxes will take almost any prescription medication, provided it’s in pill form. Among the sorts of items that shouldn’t be dropped off include vitamins and supplements, personal care products, and needles.