Guarding against abuse

  • Contributed by Kaua‘i Police Department

    Kaua‘i Police Department Capt. Paul Applegate drops some medication into one of the two prescription medication drop boxes at KPD headquarters in Lihu‘e.

LIHU‘E — Saturday was National Drug Take Back Day and the Kaua‘i Police Department reminded the community that they can dispose of their unused, unwanted or expired prescription medications throughout the year.

Residents may do so via two permanently-installed drop boxes on the KPD headquarters campus in Lihu‘e.

Drug Take Back Day is part of a national initiative coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency that focuses on providing a safe, convenient and responsible method of disposing of medications while also educating the community about the potential for abuse, and consequences from improper storage and disposal.

“Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, we will not be holding a face-to-face Drug Take Back event this year,” said Bryson Ponce, KPD Investigative Services assistant chief.

”That said, we want to thank the DEA for its partnership with KPD in hosting this important annual initiative in the past,” he said. “This year, in honor of National Drug Take Back Day, we want to encourage the public to continue to dispose of their unused prescription medication in the drop boxes that are available 24/7. We simply ask that medication please be left in its prescription bottle and then placed in a clear Ziplock bag upon disposal.”

Tablets, capsules, liquids and other forms of medication — prescription or nonprescription — including pain, nicotine and similar patches, are accepted. New or used needles and syringes are not accepted.

This service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked.

“The proper and timely disposal of prescription drugs can help decrease abuse of these drugs by teenagers or other unauthorized users,” said Ponce. “It also mitigates the environmental damage that occurs due to incorrect disposal by private citizens. So we thank the public for their kokua in helping to address these issues by using our drop boxes at their convenience.”

For more information on the National Drug Take Back Initiative, visit the DEA website at dea.gov or contact Ponce at 241-1681.

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