RENO, NV - Three local police agencies have partnered to offer permanent locations to drop off unwanted or unused prescription drugs for safe disposal.
According the Reno police, The diversion and abuse of prescription drugs is a problem nationwide and locally. Prescription drug abuse is now the fastest growing drug problem in America, and the CDC has declared it to be an epidemic. Prescription drugs are especially appealing to youth, and these drugs are now the second most commonly abused drug type for teens. One of the main contributing factors to this problem is the ease of accessibility to prescription drugs – many citizens unknowingly store drugs of abuse in their medicine cabinets, sometimes for years. These pills can then be stolen and abused, often without the owner ever noticing that they are missing.
To combat this problem, in 2009, with funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Smart Policing Initiative, the Reno Police Department launched a comprehensive program targeted at reducing the prevalence of prescription drug abuse in Washoe County. One of the most visible aspects of this program has been the Prescription Drug Roundup events, which have been held twice annually since fall 2009. The results of these events are evidence that a vast number of unused prescription drugs are available in our own homes: to date, over 600,000 pills have been collected and safely destroyed.
To supplement the semi-annual Roundup events, local law enforcement agencies have collaborated to offer permanent drop-off sites for prescription medications. The prescription drug drop boxes are located in the main lobby areas of the Reno Police Department, Sparks Police Department and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Citizens can drop off prescription pills, pet medications, and over-the-counter medications, which will then be safely destroyed so that they cannot be abused and cannot harm our water supply through improper disposal. Liquids, sharps and inhalers are not accepted in the drop boxes, but these items can be brought to the next Prescription Drug Round Up event on Saturday, April 28th.