Spokane leaders launched an effort to rid homes of unneeded prescription drugs by offering medication disposal sites across the city.
Donated by the Rite Aid Foundation and called the KidCents Safe Medication Disposal Program, the initiative aims to reduce drug accessibility, medication misuse and accidental poisoning among children. People now have places to dispose of expired and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
At a Spokane news conference Wednesday morning, several Rite Aid executives were joined by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Spokane Police Chief Craig Meidl and Mayor David Condon. The community leaders applauded the Rite Aid Foundation for choosing Spokane in its nationwide initiative and the work they’re doing to curb drug abuse.
“No one can fight this battle alone, nor should they have to,” McMorris Rodgers said. “Solving this problem in our community will take the collaboration of local government, law enforcement, and outreach and advocacy groups.”
As part of the initial rollout, the Spokane Police Department received three stainless steel disposal units located inside the Public Safety Building at 1100 W. Mallon Ave., the Spokane Police north precinct at 5124 N. Market St. and the downtown precinct at 221 W. First Ave. They are available during business hours, and any medication disposed through those units will be incinerated, said Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid’s executive vice president of Pharmacy.
“Initial feedback from law enforcement agencies in our pilot markets has been positive and we continue to see strong interest in our program,” she said.
Meidl, speaking on behalf of the police department, said this program could help curb drug abuse in the Spokane area.
“Each day, our officers see the face of addiction and drug abuse and the crimes that result,” he said. “Having a program like this in our community is one more step to curbing drug accessibility, medication misuse and accidental poisoning.”
According to a news release provided by the Rite Aid Foundation, more than 40 law enforcement agencies across the county participate in the disposal program, with 76 units available in 14 states.