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Event to collect unused prescription medication

The Maui News

Expired or unused medications will be collected during a prescription drug “takeback” event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Maui Police Department in Wailuku.

Federal and local law enforcement agencies are coordinating the effort in hopes of preventing the medications from falling into the wrong hands, “which is dangerous and often tragic,” U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Honolulu District Office Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge Leslie Tomaich said in a news release Thursday.

The event will be the DEA’s 21st National Take-Back Initiative. Hawaii, now in its 12th year, has collected more than 53,000 pounds of prescription medications.

Drug collection events will be conducted as drive-thrus to adhere to state and county emergency proclamation requirements.

Residents are encouraged to bring their expired or unused prescription medications to collection sites. They do not need to remove the labels or take the pills out of containers and can simply toss them in a disposable bag to be dropped off at drive-thru locations.

Tablets, capsules, liquids and other forms of medication will be taken. Syringes will not be accepted.

The service is free and anonymous — no questions asked.

Unused or expired medicine should be properly disposed of when no longer needed, as medicine may lose its effectiveness after the expiration date. Improper use of prescription drugs can be as dangerous as illegal drug use, and having unused or expired medicine in the home increases the risk of accidental poisoning, especially in homes with children or elderly residents. People may mistake one type of medicine for another, or children may mistake it for candy.

Expired medicine should not be thrown in the trash or flushed down the toilet. Proper disposal also helps reduce the risk of prescription drugs entering the human water supply or potentially harming aquatic life.

For more information or a list of collection sites, visit ag.hawaii.gov or takebackday.dea.gov.

Those who are unable to participate in the event can find a list of drug takeback dropbox locations at hawaiiopioid.org.

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