Nearly every American household has old or expired prescriptions in their home – and many more are unaware of how to safely dispose of these medications. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, every month in Colorado there are 25 deaths due to drug poisoning involved with prescribed painkillers.
To help stop abuse of prescription drugs, Commerce City is taking part in the annual prescription drug roundup, an event sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This nationwide event is Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The city will host two sites for residents to confidentially dispose of their drugs at the Commerce City Civic Center, 7887 E. 60th Ave., and the city’s police substation, 18240 E. 104th Ave.
“Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends,” said Commerce City Crime Prevention Officer DJ Thompson, who is coordinating the city’s drug roundup. “A concerning statistic for us is the increasing number of teens – one in seven Colorado high school students have taken prescription medications without a doctor’s note. Many of these teens don’t believe prescription pain relievers are addictive and are much safer than other illegal drugs, which isn’t accurate.”
More than 20,000 pounds of expired, unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected just in Colorado during last year’s roundup.
Residents can drop off unused and expired prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Items that will not be accepted are needles and sharps, oxygen containers, chemotherapy/radioactive substances, pressurized canisters, mercury thermometers or illicit drugs. Thompson said it’s a good idea to tear the label off the container or put all the unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs in a plastic bag.
The program is confidential and residents can remain anonymous; officers won’t be asking any questions or request identification.
For more information about the city’s drug roundup, contact Crime Prevention Officer DJ Thompson at 303-727-3996 or firstname.lastname@example.org.