Every year a “Drug Take Back Day” nets pounds of expired and unused prescription drugs in northeast Johnson County. Now, the Mission Police Department has installed a secure bin that makes every day a “take back” day.
Anyone with unused or unwanted prescription drugs can drop them into the bin which is located in the lobby of the Mission police department on Woodson. No paperwork and no questions are involved. The department is working on a solution to handle liquids, but at the moment they can’t go in the bin and no loose pills or any needles should be deposited.
“We just think it’s important that people have a nice, easy place to drop (the drugs) off” says Detective Lt. Dan Madden. The closest known drop to northeast Johnson County is at the county courthouse in Olathe. The take back days have been popular, usually held at area groceries, but they are infrequent. Madden says the department often gets phone calls from people asking about how to dispose of drugs.
Mission police will take the drugs to an incinerator for disposal. The bin was acquired through a grant from the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators.
Prescription drugs are becoming more of a problem, Madden says. Drugs taken from home medicine cabinets can be a start to addictions and the volume of prescription addictions is rising. That means more criminal issues, such as forgeries, tied back to prescription drug abuse. Drug interactions or errors from keeping old prescription medicines around is another concern.
“This bin will allow area residents (not just Mission residents) to safely and anonymously discard medication that could otherwise pose a danger in people’s homes,” Madden says.