How, where to dispose of expired medications in Fairbanks

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - National Drug Take Back day is an initiative created by the Drug Enforcement Administration, giving people who have unused, unwanted or expired medications a safe place to drop them off. Becca Brado, with the Interior Aids Association, spoke about some of the several locations around town participating in this year's event.

"Its nation-wide and it will be in Fairbanks at six different locations, here at the Fairbanks police Department, as well as the city of North Pole, the Alaska Troopers and both Fred Myers locations," she said.

There are many benefits to disposing your medications properly and on a regular basis. Brado shared how being pro-active with proper disposal could have a positive effect on the community.

"Well, studies show that people who are abusing opioids and other medications often times get them from the medicine cabinets of friends and family, ss well as teenagers who are experimenting for the first time. So if we can get them out of the medicine cabinet and dispose of them properly, it could prevent abuse or addiction down the road," she said.

Officer Doug Welborn with the Fairbanks Police Department says, events such as Drug Take Back Day require the community's effort.

"We have a lot of family members we deal with, maybe a family member has passed away or they're controlling medications for minors, and they have passed their date, they don't know what to do with them. So rather than have them take those medications to a transfer site, or just throw them away to where they could get in the wrong hands, can cause some illness to someone we want to have a safe place to dispose them," she said.

In addition to the event on Saturday, there are year round collection sites available throughout Fairbanks and North Pole. Brado Says, flushing medications down the toilet is not recommended, because it can contaminate your water source. She says it is always a good idea to keep medications locked up and out of reach of others.