The Gig Harbor Police Department collected 198 pounds of unused prescription drugs on Saturday as part of a drug take-back initiative with the Drug Enforcement Administration.
This year’s Drug Take Back Day received a significant increase over last year’s event, which collected 97 pounds of unwanted medications.
This event was the 11th opportunity in the last six years for the public to participate in preventing pill abuse and theft by safely disposing of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs.
By turning these medications over to be destroyed by the DEA, the opportunity for drug abuse or misuse is removed, authorities say.
Previous disposal methods for unwanted medicines — such as flushing down the toilet or throwing in the trash — are no longer recommended because of potential safety and health hazards.
In addition to the take-back event, the police department has collected an additional 215 pounds of prescription medication since January through the Secure Drug Turn In box that is located at the station.
Overall, 400 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected so far from the Gig Harbor Police Department.
The Gig Harbor Police Department has a drop box for unwanted or unused prescriptions outside the office and available year-round from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Needles or liquids are not accepted in the drop box, but information for how to dispose of these items is provided by the department.
The Gig Harbor Police Department is located in the Civic Center at 3510 Grandview Street.