Local residents will have a chance to clean out their medicine cabinets later this month as members of the Leavenworth Police Department will be accepting unused prescription drugs.
Deputy Chief Dan Nicodemus said the Leavenworth Police Department will be participating in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27 at the Price Chopper store, 2107 S. Fourth St.
"We'll be taking unwanted, unused or expired prescription medications with no questions asked," he said.
The drugs will be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for disposal.
Nicodemus said getting rid of unused medications may help combat prescription drug abuse, which is becoming more prevalent. He said prescription medications are frequently reported stolen.
"It's common in residential burglaries that they will go through medicine cabinets," he said.
He said some teenagers abuse prescription drugs. He said a there's a trend that's referred to as "skittles," which involves pouring a variety of medications into one container and then grabbing a handful of the pills to ingest.
Nicodemus said there's also the potential for younger children to accidentally overdose on medications they find at home.
He said it can be easy for people to forget they have drugs in their medicine cabinets after they've healed and moved on from their ailments.
Nicodemus said the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day provides a safe way of disposing of unwanted prescription drugs. He said flushing old medications down the toilet is not the ideal way to dispose of them because it contaminates the water supply with pharmaceuticals.
During the April 27 event, illegal drugs such as cocaine and marijuana will not be accepted.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a DEA initiative. Nicodemus said the Leavenworth Police Department has participated in similar events in the past. Last time, between 80 and 90 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in to the local police.
In addition to the Police Department, the April 27 event in Leavenworth is being sponsored by Price Chopper, Kansas City Kansas Community College and the Regional Prevention Center of Wyandotte and Leavenworth Counties, according to Nicodemus.
People also will be able to turn in their unused medications at the Post Exchange at Fort Leavenworth. That collection site also will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 27, according to the Fort Leavenworth garrison website.