Skagit County Board of Health Approves Proposed Secure Medication Return Ordinance

Logo from: skagit.org

Skagit County, WA – According to a press release from Skagit County Public Health, it should soon become much easier to dispose of old or unused prescription medication. That’s the gist of two new resolutions that were passed by the Skagit County Board of Health on January 29th, 2018. This will be the topic of a public presentation set for Monday, February 5th.

Comparable to programs already underway in Snohomish and Whatcom counties, Skagit County’s proposed secure medication return policy would require that drug manufactures fund and operate a program to expand secure medication return sites across the county. This would occur in places like retail pharmacies and hospitals, or clinics with pharmacies.

Skagit County Public Health Director, Jennifer Johnson, had this to say about the proposal:

We know that roughly 70 percent of people who abuse prescriptions drugs get them from friends or family. We want to safely reduce that risk – get unused medication out of medicine cabinets and out of the hands of kids or family members.

Preventing the misuse and abuse of opioids, especially by youth, was a primary goal identified by the Skagit County Population Health Trust and Opioid Workgroup Leadership Team in 2016. Creating a safe, convenient, and sustainable medicine return program with disposal sites throughout Skagit County is a key strategy in prevention. Currently, only five secure disposal sites exist, each at local law enforcement locations.

A formal public hearing on the topic is set for 9:30AM on Wednesday, February 21, 2018.

You can find more information about the proposed Secure Medicine Return Policy here. The community is also invited to attend a public presentation on Monday, February 5th, to hear directly from Public Health staff about policy details, how it will work, and what it will mean for the average resident. The presentation is scheduled from 11AM-noon in the Skagit County Commissioners’ Hearing room at 1800 Continental Place in Mount Vernon. You can also watch it live on TV 21 or stream it online by clicking here.


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