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Fairbanks Police Department to hold Drug Take Back Day

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 4:14 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks Police Department (FPD) will be participating in National Drug Take Back Day this October.

According to Richard Sweet, Deputy Chief of the Fairbanks Police Department, the national event takes places twice a year.

“They pick two days in a year, and what they do is man staff areas that you can bring in prescription drugs that you no longer need, or they’ve expired,” Sweet explained. “We currently do it in April and October, and this year we have it on October 23rd - so this Saturday. We’re going to have the event between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. It’s going to occur here at FPD, North Pole Police Department is doing it, and then both Fred Meyer locations in Fairbanks are going to be having tables during that same time where you can bring in your prescriptions.”

The goal is to provide residents with a safe method of disposing prescription drugs and prevent them from causing any potential harm.

“What you want to do is prevent prescriptions from just being thrown away in the trash or flushed down a drain,” Sweet elaborated. “The problem is, if they get thrown away in the trash somebody could get ahold of them. Some prescriptions lessen in their severity, some increase - and if somebody gets them and tries to use them without a physician monitoring it, then the combination of those medications could cause an issue medically with somebody, [meaning] you could have a reaction.”

Sweet continued, “Then flushing stuff down the drain... it just ends up in the water source and it can get into drinking water- it can contaminate that. Or if you have it in a septic system it will eventually dissolve and disperse, and then you’ll have it in your soil and it could end up with animals or other things like that could get harmed by the medications.”

The process for turning in prescription drugs is easy and stress free according to Sweet.

It’s an anonymous turn in, you don’t have to sign anything in, there’s no questions asked,” Sweet remarked. “As long as you can just bring it in, if it’s a liquid or a powder, it just has to be in something so it doesn’t spill. If it’s pills you can bring them in a baggie or a paper bag, and you can bring it in-hand. It can be in the original prescription bottle that was issued, or another prescription bottle combined, doesn’t matter. It can have the label or not have the label, so there’s no requirement for you to remove a label to turn it in.”

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