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Unused prescription drugs may be disposed of April 28 at three sites in Cowlitz and Columbia counties during the fourth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The Longview Police Department is offering the free, anonymous service at the Highlands Satellite Office, 216 30th Ave., behind the St. Helens Shopper. Capt. Deborah Johnson will be present to accept the drugs and answer questions.

Columbia County sites are the Rainier Police Department, 106 West B St., and the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, 901 Port Ave., St. Helens. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all locations.

The purpose of the take-back is to give the public and long-term care facilities an opportunity to dispose of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs, the DEA said in a news release. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including stolen from the home medicine cabinet. Pills that are flushed down the toilet can contaminate the water supply.

LPD has been collecting prescription pills weekdays since September 2009 and has taken in a total of 465 pounds of medication, according to LPD property-evidence technician Ron Cryderman.

Drugs may also be disposed of at these permanent disposal sites:

Longview: police department, main station, 1111 Hudson St. (weekdays)

Kelso: police department, 201 S. Pacific Ave. (weekdays), and Hall of Justice entrance, 312 Southwest First Ave. (all hours)

Woodland: police department, 100 Davidson Ave. (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday), and Hi-School Pharmacy, 1365 Lewis River Road. (Wednesday)

Kalama: Godfrey’s Pharmacy, 270 N. First St. (daily except Sunday)

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