Drug Take Back Program

The objective of the Chisago County Sheriff's Office Drug Take Back Program is to allow the citizens of Chisago County to deliver all of their unused, unwanted, or expired medications to law enforcement officials who will, in turn, dispose of the controlled substances in a safe and non-hazardous manner, preventing the pills from contributing to an environmental hazard and/or falling into the hands of juveniles or into the illicit market in our community.

Take Advantage of the Program
Do you have unwanted or expired prescription drugs sitting around? The Chisago County Sheriff's Office, in partnership with Chisago County Environmental Services, offers one of the first drug take back programs in the State of Minnesota.

Residents are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for secure disposal to the Chisago County Sheriff's Office. The service through this program is FREE and anonymous, no questions asked.

Drug Take Back Beginnings
In 2007, the Chisago County Sheriff's Office Drug Take Back Program started in an attempt to combat a rising trend in water pollution. In the past, people were advised to flush unused medications, but research shows that the toilet may be the least environmentally friendly method of disposal.

Current technology at waste water treatment plants does not remove the drug compounds from the waste water. These compounds pass right through and are showing up in increasing frequency in our lakes, streams and rivers. Chronic environmental exposure to these drug compounds creates various problems in nature such as endocrine (hormone) disruption, antibiotic resistance, and reproductive effects including the feminization of male fish.

Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash - both pose potential safety and health hazards. In addition, not only does this initiative address a vital environmental and public health issue, but a public safety one as well. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to theft, diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Drug Abuse
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

To date, the Chisago County Sheriff's Office Drug Take Back Program has taken back and properly disposed of tons of unused, unwanted, and/or expired medications.

Deputy Dan Ackerman manages the Drug Take Back Program and can be reached at 651-213-6368 or by email.