HPD to Help Public Dispose of Meds Safely


The public will have the chance to safely dispose of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs with the help of the Hermiston Police Department.

On April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the HPD and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 11th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous prescription drugs.

Bring your pills or patches (the DEA cannot accept liquids or needles) for disposal to the lobby of the Hermiston Police Department at 330 South First Street. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

“We have had a prescription drop off box in the lobby of our department for several years and the amount of pills we incinerate annually is amazing,” said Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston. This partnership with the DEA will hopefully keep additional pills from being flushed as we know that is not beneficial to the environment.”

Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons (over 702,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds — more than 2,750 tons — of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.