Need a reason to clean out your medicine cabinet? Today could be the day

Prescription medications. (KSN file photo)
Prescription medications. (KSN file photo)

SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – If you’re ready to clean out your medicine cabinet, right now is the best time to do it.

Tomorrow, Saturday, October 22, law enforcement officials around the state will collect any unused and expired medications and hand them off to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to be destroyed safely.

KSN spoke with Lt. Lin Dehning with the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, who says they’d prefer people not throw out or flush their unused drugs. That’s how they wind up in landfills and into our groundwater.

“Anybody can come by and drop off any medications that they want, no questions asked,” Lt. Dehning said. “We just collect them so that we can take them off the street and out of homes where they can be a danger.”

The rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing, along with the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses because of those drugs, according to the Kansas Attorney General website.

“Unused medications are dangerous for kids, pets and the environment,” said Derek Schmidt, Kansas Attorney General in a press release. “Getting these leftover medicines out of the medicine cabinets and safely destroyed keeps them from falling into the wrong hands and makes our communities safer.”

Some expired medicines can even become toxic, according to Lt. Dehning.

“These unwanted, unused prescriptions can be a danger to small children in the house,” he said. “They can be a danger to you know, someone who takes various medications and they can get mixed up with other medications. If they are expired, some medications can become toxic.”

While law enforcement statewide are participating in the day, Lt. Dehning believes the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office has been successful in their efforts, saying they’ve collected more than a ton in the last two events alone.

“The one in April and the one last September, those two combined, we collected over 2,000 lb. of medication so we’re talking a ton of drugs that were taken out of homes and off the street,” he said.

The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office will be at three locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, October 22.

  • Sedgwick County Zoo, 5555 W. Zoo Blvd.
  • Household Hazardous Waste Center, 801 W. Stillwell
  • Oaklawn Activity Center,4904 S. Clifton

If you’d like to find the nearest location to you in your county, click here.

Another option to drop off your unused or expired medications year round is at a Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal Kiosk near you.