Coon Rapids holds drop off unwanted, expired medications event

The Coon Rapids Police Department will accept your unwanted medication from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28.

The Coon Rapids Police Department will accept your unwanted medication from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 28.

The Coon Rapids Police Department is joining the rest of the country in taking back unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter drugs Saturday, April 28.From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., people can bring their medications to the lobby of the Coon Rapids Police Department for proper disposal.

The April 28 event is part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) National Take Back Initiative.

In October 2011, when the Coon Rapids Police Department hosted its first take back event, 86 Coon Rapids residents took the opportunity to dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescriptions and other medications.

According to Terry Thomton, Coon Rapids community policing officer, 140.75 pounds of drugs were dropped off filling nine boxes.

Then they were turned over to the DEA, which incinerated the drugs at an undisclosed location, Thomton said.

Bottles and other drug containers can be disposed of, but no syringes or injectables like insulin will be accepted, he said.

However, expired or unwanted over-the-counter medications, for example cough syrup, can be dropped off, Thomton said.

Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs so getting rid of those that are not needed is very important, he said.

According to the DEA website, Americans that participated in the DEA’s third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in October turned in more than 377,086 pounds (188.5 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,327 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.

“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three take-back day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.

“DEA remains hard at work to establish just such a drug disposal process and will continue to offer take-back opportunities until the proper regulations are in place.”

“With the continued support and hard work of our more than 3,945 state, local and tribal law enforcement and community partners, these three events have dramatically reduced the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, and increased awareness of this critical public health issue.”

Peter Bodley is at peter.bodley@ecm-inc.com

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