Gem State Roundup

Get rid of those old prescription drugs. Drop them off at these places next Saturday.

By: - April 22, 2022 4:00 am

Drugged driving PSA, courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation

That bottle of old prescription drugs in the back of the medicine cabinet is itching for a new home: in a bin at one of the collection sites open to Idahoans on Saturday, April 30.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day offers an easy and anonymous way to dispose of unused and expired medications. This can help reduce theft and misuse of drugs. Collection sites are open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Treasure Valley sites include:

  • Expo Idaho/Western Idaho Fairgrounds, 5610 N. Glenwood St., Garden City
  • Blue Cross of Idaho, 3000 E. Pine Ave., Meridian
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1985 N. Black Cat Road, Meridian
  • Caldwell Police Department, 110 S. Fifth Ave., Caldwell
  • Emmett Police Department, 501 E. Main St., Emmett
  • Elmore County Sheriff’s Office/Mountain Home Police Department, 2775 E. 8th N., Mountain Home

Visit www.dea.gov/takebackday to find your nearest collection site. New sites may be added leading up to April 30.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health has found that most Americans who misuse prescription medication get the drugs via family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Based on the survey, more than 55,000 Idahoans age 12 and older misused prescription pain relievers between 2019 and 2020, according to a news release from the Idaho Office of Drug Policy.

“Additionally, results from the 2019 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior and Idaho Healthy Youth surveys found that nearly 23% of Idaho 12th graders reported that they had misused a prescription drug one or more times in their life,” the release said. More than 41% of those 12th graders had received the drugs from a family member or friend, and more than 60% misused the drugs in their own home, the release said.

There were 287 drug overdose-related deaths among Idahoans and 4,548 drug overdose-related emergency department visits in Idaho in 2020, said the release, citing Idaho Department of Health and Welfare data.

“When left in a medicine cabinet, thrown away or flushed, unused prescriptions can be dangerous to people, animals and the environment,” the release said.

There are collection sites that accept unused and expired medications year-round, including pharmacies and law enforcement agencies. Visit odp.idaho.gov to find those locations.

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Audrey Dutton
Audrey Dutton

Audrey Dutton, senior investigative reporter, joined the Idaho Capital Sun after 10 years at the Idaho Statesman. Her favorite topics to cover include health care, business, consumer protection issues and white collar crime. Dutton hails from Twin Falls. She attended college at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota, and received a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Before coming home to Idaho, Dutton worked as a journalist in Minnesota, New York, Maryland and Washington, D.C. Dutton's work has earned dozens of state, regional and national awards for investigative reporting, health care and business reporting, data visualization and more.

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