This year's addition of vaping devices and cartridges to Take Back Day comes amidst a national outbreak of lung injury associated with such products.
National Prescription Take Back Day is offered at locations across the country to give communities a chance to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially unsafe expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
Participation is easy, anonymous and free - typically taking just a few minutes at a local collection site - and ensures that prescription drugs don't end up in the wrong hands. This quickly shifted to a health issue with prescription drug abuse. It originally started off as an environmental concern, with people flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the garbage.
The Duluth Police Department is one of several locations where people can drop off their medication this weekend, but it's important to remember that this effort is not only offered twice a year.
The Iowa Department of Public Health reported a 33 percent drop in the past year.
"In light of the outbreak that we've seen nationally and here in Iowa as it relates to suspected vaping-related illnesses, that will be a new opportunity at more than 100 take-back sites around Iowa on Saturday" says Iowa Office of Drug Control Policy Director Dale Woolery.
Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.
For the first year, the Sheriff's Office will join the federal Drug Enforcement Administration and its partners to collect the vaping devices but can not accept the devices with lithium ion batteries.
Needles, syringes, lancets, and thermometers are only accepted at the WLSSD Household Hazardous Waste Facility.
Law enforcement agencies, community partners and the Attorney General's Office will have teams out to accept medications for proper disposal between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday.