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Properly dispose your expired medication at drop-off locations this Saturday


The state Department of the Attorney General and Department of Public Safety’s Narcotics Enforcement Division will host their biannual prescription drug take-back event on Oct. 23.

Expired prescription medications can be disposed of at various drop-off sites on Oʻahu, Maui, Kauaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Island. All drop-off locations are outdoors except in Kona.

Gary Whisenand is a supervisor for the Drug Enforcement Administration Honolulu District Office. He said there are two reasons why prescription medication needs to be properly disposed.

"From a public safety perspective, those medications that are no longer needed could end up in the wrong hands. Medication misuse and abuse can be dangerous and possibly deadly, so that’s the public safety side of the house," Whisenand said.

"From a public health side of the house, before there was take-back, the only option for people to dispose the medication was to dump it in the trash (which could end up in landfills and soil your soil), or dump it down the drain (which pollutes water waste)," Whisenand said.

Since 2002, Hawaiʻi has collected over 53,000 pounds of prescription medications.

The events will take place Oct. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

To see the list of the take-back locations, visit takebackday.dea.gov.

Zoe Dym was a news producer at Hawaiʻi Public Radio.
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