It Starts With You: Spokane Residents Encouraged to Safely Discard Unused

Michele Anderson, Public Safety Communications Manager

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 at 5:21 p.m.

On Saturday, April 27, from 10am to 2pm, Spokane residents can safely dispose of unwanted medications and drugs, receive a free medication lock box, and help combat the growing opioid epidemic.

Local community drug prevention coalitions are partnering with the Spokane Police Department and CHAS Health, Inc. to provide a safe, convenient, and anonymous way to dispose of their unused or expired medications.

The first 100 participants at each location will also receive a free medication lockbox so they can secure remaining medications in their home. According to the Washington State Health Care Authority, “75% of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn’t prescribed for them – usually taken from a friend or family member”. Simple steps, like safely disposing of medications, can stop them from being misused.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications will be accepted. Medications, including liquids, can remain in their original containers and labels do not need to be removed. Medications not in their original containers will also be accepted. Needles and/or sharps will not be accepted at this event, but information on proper disposal of medical sharps will be provided.

These local events are part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's 17th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, which occur nationwide in April and October every year. Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA in coordination with state and local law enforcement agencies. Overall, in its 16 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in almost 11 million pounds – nearly 5,500 tons – of pills.

Details for Spokane Drug Take Back Events occurring on Saturday, April 27:

  • Location: C.O.P.S. North Central / Knox Presbyterian Church, 806 W. Knox Avenue
    Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm
    Hosted by: Shadle Prevention & Wellness Coalition, Spokane Police Department
  • Location: CHAS Health Market Street Clinic, 5921 N. Market Street
    Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm
    Hosted by: Northeast Spokane Prevention Coalition, Spokane Police Department

Additionally, residents of Cheney/Airway Heights can dispose of their unwanted medications at a Drug Take Back Day event in their community on the same day:

  • Location: Cheney CHAS Health Center, 1720 2nd Street, Cheney, WA 99004
    Time: 10:00am – 2:00pm
    Hosted by: Take Action and Link Kids to Health Choices (TALK 2 Health Choices), Cheney Police Department

Participating in drug take-back events is one step that that individuals can do to help positively impact the opioid crisis and protect their loved ones.

To find a Drug Take Back Day event near you, or find a listing of permanent drug collection sites, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's website:

Local youth drug prevention and intervention coalitions funded, in part, through federal grants administered by the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA), Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) through local fiscal agent NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101 (NEWESD 101).

For more information about the Washington State Health Care Authority Starts with One and Take Back Your Meds campaigns, visit

Drug Take Back Day event partners in the City of Spokane include:

  • Spokane Police Department
  • CHAS Health, Inc.
  • Northeast Spokane Prevention Coalition
  • Shadle Prevention & Wellness Coalition
  • NorthEast Washington Educational Service District 101
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho
  • Spokane C.O.P.S.
  • Spokane Fire Department
  • The Zone
  • U.S. Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Washington.
  • U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Washington State Health Care Authority
  • West Spokane Wellness Partnership

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