There is now a permanent drug-disposal bin located in the lobby of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department thanks to the collaboration between the Department and the South Tahoe Drug Free Coalition. This bin is in a secure location for anyone in the community to properly dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription drugs.
“While many residents have participated in the city’s bi-annual drug take-back days, everyone can now dispose of their prescription drugs safely throughout the year,” said Police Chief Brian Uhler. “We want to assure residents that if they drop off prescription drugs, we will accept them with no questions asked.”
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that some methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Many families are unsure about how or where to dispose of unused prescription medications that they locate in deceased family members’ medicine cabinets. Similarly, parents who are finding contraband substances in their children’s’ rooms require a safe and secure way to dispose of the drugs. The permanent bin provides a secure and anonymous way to dispose of the unwanted substances.
“We look at this as an opportunity to provide a year-round drop-off place for our residents to properly dispose of unwanted prescription drugs, to not only cut down on drug abuse, but also help protect our environment,” says Leanne Wagoner, Chair of the Coalition.
Unwanted prescription medications can be taken to the drug-disposal bin at the Police Department Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For after-hours drop offs there is a buzzer located outside the Police Department doors. The office is located at 1352 Johnson Blvd, South Lake Tahoe, CA. Call 530-542-6100 for more information.
The following items cannot be accepted: liquids and “sharps” (i.e., needles, lancets, syringes and IVs.) Residents with liquids or needles are encouraged to dispose of them (in a puncture resistant container) at South Tahoe Refuse’s hazardous materials drop off Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m, located at 2192 Ruth Ave, South Lake Tahoe, CA. Call 530-542-8368 or visit www.southtahoerefuse.com/Hazardous_Waste.html. There is no charge, and no paperwork is needed.
The South Tahoe Drug Free Coalition was created to address the high levels of youth substance use in South Lake Tahoe. Visit www.bedrugsafe.com for more information about the Coalition. To get involved, contact Melody Easton at Melody@tahoeyouth.org, or 530-541-2445. The Coalition and purchase of the bin is funded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).