Drug Take-Back Day

National Drug Take Back Day occurs in April & October


The last couple years have been difficult for communities across our state as we deal with the fallout of COVID-19, and recent data is showing that substance misuse, including opioid misuse, is on the rise.

In Washington state and in Cowlitz County, we continue to have an opioid epidemic that is being compounded by the pandemic. Stress, uncertainty, isolation and being homebound are a worrisome combination – particularly as we know that 75 percent of opioid misuse starts with people using medication that wasn't prescribed for them - usually taken from a friend or family member.

Simple steps, like safely disposing of medications, can help stop the misuse of opioids. The EPIC Coalition and our local law enforcement (Longview Police Department, Kelso Police Department, Cowlitz Sheriff’s Office, and WA Department of Corrections) holds prescription drug take back events in April and October of each year.

National Drug Take Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. FREE Year-Round Disposal of medications and sharps can be disposed of year-round at collection sites across Cowlitz counties:

Community drop-off sites for Prescription Drugs


Community kiosk drop-off sites allows the public to bring expired or unwanted medicines to convenient locations for proper disposal. Residents may also go to selected locations to request a Mail-Back Package for expired or unwanted medicines.

Do not place medicines in the trash or recycling, and never flush them down the toilet.

  • Longview Police Department, 1351 Hudson Street, Longview, WA 98632
  • Kaiser Permanente, 1230 7th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632
  • Cowlitz County Health & Human Services, 1952 9th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632
  • Rite Aid (both Kelso & Longview pharmacy locations)
  • Genoa Pharmacy, 921 14th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632
  • Cowlitz County Sherriff's Department, 312 SW First Avenue, Kelso, WA 98626. Open: 24 hours
  • Kelso Police Department, 201 South Pacific, Kelso, WA 98626
  • For other safe free medication drop-off locations across Washington State, visit TakeBackYourMeds.org. You can also visit Starts with One and MED-Project to learn more about how to safely store medication, dispose of unused, unwanted and expired medication, and the importance of removing prescription opioid medications from homes.

Why Safely Dispose of Medication?

11. Stop accidental poisoning
  • About half of the Washington State Poison Center calls are related to young children accidentally ingesting medications found at home1.
  • Young children, pets, and seniors are at risk of accidental poisonings by unlocked medications in the home.
  • In the case of an accidental ingestion, call the Poison Help number, 1-800-222-1222, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Watch Poison Help Line Video
22. Reduce Access to prescription drugs

More than 4 in 10 teens who misused or abused a prescription drug took it from their parent’s medicine cabinet. Keep all medications, alcohol, and marijuana locked and out of reach of teens and young children.

33. Keep our waterways and environment healthy
  • Reduce chemicals in the environment by disposing of medications at a drug take back site.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet or drain – drugs are harmful to our water and our environment.
  • Do not throw away medication in the trash – it’s easily accessible to people going through trash, or it will eventually end up in our water or environment.

Unwanted or Unused Medications?

Safely dispose of medications at a local drug take back site and note the specifications for medication return at each site.


Find the closest site to you at www.takebackyourmeds.org

Remember: Keep any medications in your home out of reach and locked away.

Upcoming EPIC Events

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