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Bainbridge police take-back event is a success

The Bainbridge Island Police Department has helped collect more than 190 pounds of unwanted medications this year as part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, according to city officials.

The department held its most recent take-back day on April 26, and the department said another event is planned for October.

“It’s important to dispose of unwanted medication in the safest, most environmentally responsible way and the Bainbridge Island Police Department is happy to provide that venue for our citizens,” said Bainbridge Police Chief Matthew Hamner.

Drug take-back events are held across the country to help people prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Since the DEA’s first event in September 2010, the public has surrendered over 3.4 million pounds of pills.

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft, misuse and abuse. Officials not that almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin and inhalants combined, according to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. And more Americans died in 2010 from overdoses of prescription medications — 22,134 — than from motor vehicle accidents.

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