Health

Drug Take Back Day drop-off Saturday throughout Cedar Rapids area

Federal initiative part of effort to curb prescription drug abuse

Opioid prescription. (Photo illustration by Cliff Jette/The Gazette)
Opioid prescription. (Photo illustration by Cliff Jette/The Gazette)

In an effort to curb prescription drug abuse, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is hosting an initiative this weekend to safely dispose of unneeded medication.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day events are held in temporary locations each year to provide an opportunity for people to anonymously turn in expired, unused or otherwise unneeded prescription drugs for destruction at no cost.

The DEA has backed the take-back program for more than 15 years in an effort to prevent drug addition and overdose deaths. Since 2010, the DEA has collected nearly 10 million pounds of unneeded medications, according to federal officials.

This year, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be on Saturday.

Throughout the Corridor between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., law enforcement officials will be stationed at locations where medications can be dropped off.

All medications in pill or patch form are accepted free and anonymously. Liquids, needles and sharps cannot be collected at this event.

Here are drop off locations in the Corridor hosted by area sheriff’s offices and police departments:

Cedar Rapids

• Cedar Rapids Police Department, 505 First St. SW

• Linn County Sheriff’s Office, 310 Second Ave. SW

Iowa City

• East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd. SE

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• Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, 511 S. Capitol St.

Coralville

• Coralville Police Department, 1503 Fifth St.

• Walgreens, 102 Second St.

• Walgreens, 2751 Heartland Dr.

North Liberty

• North Liberty Police Department, 5 E. Cherry St.

Hiawatha

• Hiawatha Police Department, 101 Emmons St.

For other locations, visit takebackday.dea.gov.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, prescription drug abuse mostly affects young adults ages 18 to 25. Officials found they mainly use opioid pain relievers, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder medication and anti-anxiety drugs.

In 2014, more than 1,700 young adults died from a prescription drug overdose, which is nearly four times the number of overdoses in 1999. In addition, the National Institute on Drug Abuse found that for every death, there were 119 emergency room visits and 22 admissions for substance abuse treatment.

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

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