Opioid Crisis Purdue (copy)

This Feb. 19, 2013 photo shows OxyContin pills arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt.

It has been seven months since Skagit County began to roll out its secure medicine return program and there are now eight places in the county where residents can dispose of prescription drugs.

Britt Pfaff Dunton, solid and hazardous waste program lead with the county, said more sites will be added throughout 2019.

Seventeen libraries, government buildings and senior centers also give out pre-paid envelopes, letting people mail in their medications.

When the program started in February, individuals had to order these envelopes, which could take as many as four weeks to arrive, Pfaff Dunton said.

MED-Project, the organization that operates medication return programs, is sponsored by 400 drug manufacturers. These companies agreed to fund programs such as this after losing a federal court battle.

The Skagit County commissioners passed an ordinance approving this program in February 2018, requiring MED-Project to create and implement a plan.

More information on secure medicine return, including locations of drop boxes, is available at med-project.org.

— Reporter Brandon Stone: bstone@skagitpublishing.com, 360-416-2112, Twitter: @Brandon_SVH

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