Pharmacist Wendy Lyon fills a prescription Tuesday at Lyon Drug Store. Prescription drug drop-off day is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Hall.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Pharmacist Wendy Lyon fills a prescription Tuesday at Lyon Drug Store. Prescription drug drop-off day is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Hall.

Steamboat police hold prescription drug drop-off Saturday

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If you go

What: Prescription drug drop-off day

When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday

Where: Centennial Hall, 124 10th St.

Steamboat Springs Police Department officers will have a disposal box to accept unwanted prescription drugs, no questions asked.

— It’s time to clean out the cabinets. Not the kitchen, but the bathroom cabinets where unused and expired medications hover for months and possibly years, posing a temptation for Routt County teens.

Steamboat Springs Police Department Capt. Joel Rae said the first statewide drug drop-off day, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Centennial Hall, is a chance for people to safely dispose of drugs with no questions asked.

The event is sponsored through the Drug Enforcement Agency and will have 52 locations across the state. The Steamboat Springs location is coordinated with Grand Futures Prevention Coalition of Routt County, Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide and the Police Department.

Grand Futures Director Dervla Lacy said the event is important for the community because surveys show that prescription drug abuse is common among teens.

“Many teens are feeling prescription drugs are safer to use than street drugs, and they are easily obtained,” she said.

A survey of Denver-area teens in 2009 showed that one in three high school students reported abusing prescription drugs, and according to the Denver Office of Drug Strategy, 70 percent of drug-related deaths in 2009 resulted from prescription drug abuse.

Lacy said some teens report that prescription drugs are easier to get than alcohol.

“I think parents don’t think about locking their medicine cabinets,” she said. “The fact is that they need to dispose of those prescriptions because they’re too readily available.”

The disposal day also is a way for people to get rid of the prescriptions without dumping them down the toilet and possibly into the water supply. Rae said officers would give the box of medications to the DEA for safe disposal.

This is the first time the groups have coordinated under the guidance of the DEA, but REPS held a similar event in October that netted a trash can full of prescription medications, REPS suicide prevention coordinator Ronna Autrey said at the time.

— To reach Zach Fridell, call 871-4208 or e-mail zfridell@steamboatpilot.com

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