CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper Police Department is reminding citizens that they accept prescription drugs, as part of a take-back program.
A release sent from the CPD says that the drop box is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; for certain kinds of medication. The drop box is located in the lobby of the Casper Police Department, at the Hall of Justice, 201 North David Street in Casper.
The drop box can be used for all pill-form prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter pain medications.
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Police say, however, that non-pain-reliving over-the-counter medications and vitamins are not accepted in the drop box. A statement from police officials says that “most all of these items are safe to discard through the regular trash.”
People dropping off expired or unused medication are asked to keep the meds inside their designated bottles. Police advise that those concerned about their information being listed on the bottle, are invited to remove the label before discarding.
“If you have a large container of medications or loose pills, please secure the pills in individual plastic bags, such as a sandwich bag,” the CPD statement said Wednesday. “We are no longer able to accept large medication containers.”
People are also asked to do not discard of empty pill bottles in the take-back container. Police advise to throw empty pill bottles away in the regular trash.
Those with liquid prescription medications, or those who have a large number of prescription medications to discard of, please call the Casper Police Department ahead of time, to schedule a drop off. “These situations require additional staffing and resources to ensure the safe transfer and disposal of the medications,” the statement said.
According to the CDC, 46 people die every day in the United States due to prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the country, according to TakeBackYourMeds.Org.
“When unused and expired medications sit around in cabinets they can be easily stolen without the owner’s knowledge,” said Casper Police Evidence Technician Supervisor Jacci Warne. “That’s how a lot of these dangerous prescriptions get into the wrong hands. We see it happen all too often. Once those drugs are out on the streets, they are sold and abused. Resulting in life-threatening overdoses.”
The CPD advises those who require prescription medications, or over-the-counter painkillers, to take precautions to protect them:
- Monitor the medications in your home. Would you know if pills were missing?
- Approach securing your medications the same way you would other valuables.
- Put medications away after every use.
- Always discard of expired and unused medications in a timely manner.
According to TakeBackYourMeds.Org, throwing medications in the trash still presents an opportunity for the drugs to be found and abused. It also creates an opportunity for kids and pets to find them. Even if the medications are crushed up, there is still a risk of exposure through skin contact or by breathing in the dust. Crushing pills can release a dangerously high dose.
Medications that are flushed or poured down a drain can pollute the waters, impact aquatic species and contaminate food and water supplies, according to the CPD.
“Bottom line, utilizing a drug take-back program like the one we offer 24/7 is the only way to safely discard of prescription and pain-relieving medications,” said Casper Police Public Information Officer Rebekah Ladd. “The time it takes to actually come and drop the medications off far outweighs the risk you’re taking if you keep them in your home or discard of them another way.”