WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa – Local police departments are participating in the national Drug Enforcement Administration's “Prescription Drug Take Back Day” on Saturday.
The national program began in 2010 to help people prevent drug overdoses and addiction.
According to the DEA since 2010 9,964,714 pounds of unused or expired prescription drugs have been collected across the country.
Windsor Heights Police Lieutenant Rob Pearson said the event helps out police officers.
“What it does is limits the amount of pharmaceuticals that are out on the street. In that way, it does help us. It’s kind of hard to be able to gauge what’s out there versus what would have been out there by people bringing in the drugs. Obviously though these drugs are no longer out there for somebody else to grab or take,” Pearson said.
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health 6.2 million Americans misuse controlled prescription drugs.
The Windsor Heights Police Department collected 112 pounds of unused or expired medications in 2017.
The city of Johnston has collected 1,300 pounds of unused or expired medications since 2011.
Once collected, the medications go to the DEA to be properly destroyed.
“What this does for us is it takes the potential for illegal drugs, drugs being used by the wrong person off the street. It keeps the public safer,” Pearson said.
Windsor Heights Police Department accepts the following items: prescriptions and over the counter medications, medication samples, pet medications, ointments, lotions, creams, oils, soaps, vitamins, supplements and homeopathics.
The department asks to keep all substances other than prescriptions and over the counter medications in its original container. All liquids must be sealed in a leak proof clear plastic bag. Mark out any identifying medication.
The department will accept unidentified medication.
The Windsor Heights Police Department will not accept the following items: needles, sharps, syringes with needles, aerosols, pressurized containers, thermometers, IV bags, hydrogen peroxide, illicit substances, inhalers, bloody or infectious waste.
Take Back Day is Saturday October 27th from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
There are year-round drop off locations if you cannot make it to your local police station. Click here to find the nearest location.