Medicine Disposal Drop Box Now Available At Golden Valley Police Dept

A new and safer way to get rid of unused and unwanted prescription medicines is now available in Golden Valley. A medicine take-back box was installed in the lobby of the Police Department June 22.

Officials from three cooperating organizations rolled out the new medicine disposal drop box now available in the Golden Valley Police Department lobby (L to R): Jason Sturgis, Golden Valley Police Chief; Amber Smith, Partnership for Change Coordinator, North Memorial Medical Center; LeeAnn Mortensen, Injury Prevention Coordinator, North Memorial Medical Center; Jeff Wigfield, Outpatient Pharmacy Manager, North Memorial Medical Center; Steve Johnson, Golden Valley Police Commander; Rick Palaia, Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department; and Levi Siljander, Golden Valley Police CSO.

“We have several requests per week for prescription drug disposal options,” says Jason Sturgis, Golden Valley police chief. “This is a great program to help get those products safely off the streets.”

Disposing medication in the drop box cuts down on the chance of it falling into the wrong hands, and it’s also better for the environment, Sturgis says. Once the medications are in the drop box, registered police officers carefully remove the substances and follow a standard procedure for bundling the contents and delivering to the proper officials with Hennepin County. After collecting the medicines, sheriff’s deputies transport them to an incinerator where they are destroyed.

This is the ninth drop box of its kind to be installed in Hennepin County. Others can be found at Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Edina, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Osseo, and Spring Park. Visit www.hennepin.us/medicine for more details.

“Take-back boxes have been an integral part of removing unused and unwanted medications from medicine cabinets in Hennepin County and beyond,” said North Memorial outpatient pharmacy manager Jeff Wigfield. “Increasing access and adding additional boxes furthers the cause of safe disposal of medicines.”

The drop box will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 7700 Golden Valley Rd, and it will remain under constant surveillance.

Medicines accepted will include prescription medicines, controlled substances, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and supplements, and pet medicines. But no syringes, sharps, or other medical waste will be accepted.

The City of Golden Valley is working with Partnership for Change and Hennepin County to bring the program to the community.

Further Background From Hennepin County

About 10 percent of the pharmaceuticals dispensed in the US are controlled substances. Controlled substances include anabolic steroids, narcotics, stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens that have a potential for abuse and physical and psychological dependence.

The US Controlled Substances Act established a closed system of distribution designed to prevent the diversion of controlled substances. Although patients can possess controlled substances, they cannot lawfully transfer a controlled substance to another person or entity for any purpose. For example, patients cannot return controlled substances to pharmacies, even though pharmacies dispense them.

As an interim measure, the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has allowed law enforcement agencies, such as the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office, to operate medicine disposal programs. The law enforcement agency must retain custody of controlled substances at all times, up to and including destruction.

 

 

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