The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Lee Revis
Editor, Valdez Star 

Don’t know what to do with old drugs?

Dispose of them properly at city hall this Saturday


Not everyone with a drug problem has an addiction. For some, it can mean you have a lot of old prescription drugs gathering dust around the house that you don’t know what to do with.

It’s a problem that occurs all over the United States, but Valdez is looking to do something about it by participating in a prescription drug drop-off program.

“It’s a one-day collection site,” Valdez police chief Bill Comer said in an interview. It is sponsored by “the DEA and the State Troopers and Alaska Police Chiefs Association.”

There will be a no-questions-asked drug disposal day at city hall this Saturday, October 29.

The premise is simple. An unmonitored disposal box will be placed in the main lobby of Valdez City Hall from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. You drop off any and all unused prescription drugs you might have in the home.

“The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked,” said a press release sent to the Valdez Star from Lori Saylors, support services director of Providence Valdez Medical Center.

According to the press release, the DEA claims prescription drugs that are forgotten in the home “are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.”

Meaning they can be easily stolen or misused by others and the person who had the original prescription may never know their old medicines have been abused by others. Chances of accidental poisonings or overdoses also increase.

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise everywhere, including Valdez, according Comer.

The drug-drop off site is not unique to Valdez.

The DEA says that nationwide, Americans turned in 376,593 pounds—188 tons—of prescription drugs last April at nearly 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,000 state and local law enforcement partners.

The drug drop off events are being held after Congress passed Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010.

“DEA has begun drafting regulations to implement the Act, a process that can take as long as 24 months,” the press release said. “ Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.”

Saturday’s event will be the first of its kind in Valdez according to Comer.


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