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Seattle Council Asks Pharmacies To Collect Unused Drugs

Oxycodone pills.
Flickr Photo/Be.Futureproof (CC BY 2.0)/
Oxycodone pills.

Seattle leaders want the city to have more disposal sites for drugs like OxyContin and Vicodin.

The City Council passed a resolution Monday that asks pharmacies and the Seattle Police Department to install drug disposal boxes.

Councilmember Lorena Gonzalez sponsored the measure. She said prescription drug abuse can lead to heroin addiction, so they want to encourage safe disposal of extra pills.

Gonzalez: "Four out of five recent heroin users previously used opioid pain relievers such as Oxycodone before switching to the less-expensive option of heroin."

Opioid addiction is at an all-time high in Washington.

Seattle's new resolution encourages, but does not require, police and pharmacies to host a drop-box. 

Pharmacies and police would pay nothing. King County officials have signed a contract in which pharmaceutical companies pay for disposal boxes and drug collection.

There are more than 130 pharmacies in Seattle that could sign up, according to the county.