The Missoula Police Department is participating in the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 27. Drug Task Force Detective Dean Chrestenson will be collecting unused or unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Southgate Mall.

“It is important to keep the medications that people are no longer going to use out of the hands of people that might either accidentally or purposefully divert those medications, consume them, or sell and trade them themselves, which could cause harm to other people who aren’t prescribed those medications,” Chrestenson said. “All the medications that are collected by us are transported to different cities. We have used Spokane and Salt Lake City. Those medications are incinerated so they are not harmful to the environment.”

According to Chrestenson, Missoula typically does a really good job when it comes to participating in community healthcare events.

“Over the last seven or eight years that we have participated in this National Drug Take Back, the Missoula Police Department has taken in on average, not only with the drug take backs, but also with our 24/7 drop box at the police department, three to four hundred pounds each year of unused medications,” Chrestenson said. “We were able to destroy those.”

Chrestenson says several local pharmacies will take back unused or unwanted medications as well and they will send those off for proper disposal.