By John McCallum
Managing Editor 

Medication Take Back Day - times two


Last updated 10/22/2020 at 4:53pm

WEST PLAINS – Previous medication take back days have been so successful that organizers of the next event have doubled locations.

National Medication Take Back Day is Oct. 24, and the annual day to get rid of unused and expired prescription drugs includes the Grocery Outlet in Cheney and Yoke’s Fresh Market Foods in Airway Heights — the second time for the latter. Drugs can be securely dropped off at both stores between 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

“In addition to collecting unused and expired medications we will also be handing out locking medicine boxes and Deterra Drug Deactivation Pouches for community members to take home,” TALK 2 Healthy Choices Community Prevention Coalition Coordinator Jessica Deutsche said in an email.

According to information from the coalition, the event is free and anonymous, providing participants a chance to dispose of medications to protect the environment, keep children safe from accidental poisoning and keep drugs out of the hands of friends and family members.

Drugs that can be accepted are solid pills or liquid prescriptions, over-the-counter and pet medicines, E-cigarettes and vaping devices with batteries removed and vape juice. Not accepted are sharp objects, illegal or illicit substances and medical waste.

There are a number of locations in the area accepted drugs can be disposed of by those who can’t make it to the Oct. 24 event. On the West Plains, those include safe disposal locations at the Airway Heights Police Department, 1307 South Ziegler St. and U.S. Air Force 92nd Medical Group on Fairchild Air Force Base, 701 Hospital Loop, Suite 40.

Besides the October 2019 event at Yoke’s in Airway Heights, a previous Medication Take Back day was also held at CHAS in Cheney in April 2019. That initial event resulted in the collection of 80.4 pounds of medication and distribution of 40 lock boxes, while the Airway Heights take back produced 40 pounds of unused or expired medications and distribution of 80 lock boxes.

Deutsche said an April 2020 Take Back event was canceled due to COVID-19, so instead volunteers handed out 85 lock boxes at a Friday Cheney School District lunch distribution.

Both the Cheney and Airway Heights police departments have been involved in the Take Back program, and are assisting with the Oct. 24 event.

John McCallum can be reached at

Author Bio

John McCallum, Managing Editor

John McCallum is an award-winning journalist who has been with the Cheney Free Press for over 20 years. He has received 10 Washington Newspaper Publisher Association awards for journalism and photography, including first place awards for Best Investigative, Best News and back-to-back awards in Best Breaking News categories. He has been serving as editor of the Spokane Valley News Herald since March 2020.

Phone: 509-235-6184
Contact John McCallum


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