Peterson-sponsored drug take-back legislation passes State Senate on a unanimous vote

Rep. Strom Peterson

The Washington Senate Tuesday passed House Bill 1047, also known as the Secure Drug Take Back Act, on a unanimous vote of 49-0. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Strom Peterson, D-Edmonds, would create a first-in-the-nation requirement for drug manufacturers to implement a secure, statewide system of collection and disposal for unused, expired and leftover medications.

Prescription drugs are among the most commonly abused drugs in the U.S. In Washington state, overdose deaths have surpassed car accidents as the most common cause of accidental death, with over 400 opioid overdose deaths attributed to prescription opioids in 2016. In addition to substance abuse and overdose, prescription drugs contribute to accidental poisonings and suicides.

“Friends and neighbors across the state are falling victim to the opioid epidemic,” said Peterson. “Our families and communities need us to take every step we can to solve this public health crisis, including providing a safe, responsible way to dispose of unused medication.”

The Secure Drug Take Back Act will require drug manufacturers that sell drugs in Washington state to provide safe, convenient drug disposal programs. To encourage communities to utilize the drug take-back programs, each program must implement a system of public outreach, as well as operate year-round and include reasonably convenient drop-off sites. The bill also allows for any pharmacy, hospital or police agency to volunteer to host a secure drug drop box by ensuring their inclusion in the collection system provided by drug manufacturers.

House Bill 1047 will now return to the House for concurrence on amendments approved in the Senate. If accepted, the bill will head to Gov. Jay Inslee for his consideration.

  1. Thank you, Rep. Strom Peterson for all of your support in helping pass House Bill 1047. The opioid overdose deaths have become a terrible issue to everyone, all ages, all over the country and here at home. I hope that Gov. Inslee makes this a priority immediately. At one time, we were able to take our medications to Bartell’s Drug Store but they no longer accept them. We can take them to all QFC Groceries, but they are limited on what they can accept. I hope that when the new Bill is passed, we will be able to take ALL medications to turn in. In doing so, we will not be flushing them or throwing them away taking the chance of others finding and using them. Twice a year, I check all of our medications and dispose those that have expired or no longer use. Each of us need to do this, and we need a safe place to dispose of them.

  2. Thank you Rep. Strom Peterson. Please feel free to put my son’s photograph of him lying in his casket on these containers, maybe it will bring home the message to the heart to see a young man gone so soon.

    Thank you!

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