Goodhue County Law Enforcement Center

The Goodhue County Law Enforcement Center. File photo

According to the Food and Drug Administration, around 60,000 emergency visits and 450,000 calls to poison control are made each year after children under the age of six accidentally ingest medication.

However, proper disposal of unwanted or expired medication can keep children and other family members safe, the FDA explains.

“Prescriptions disposed of in the trash can be found by others and misused, flushing medications can potentially contaminate water sources, and medications left unused in a home can be accidentally confused with a current prescription, found and ingested by children, or be misused by a friend or family member,” Rebecca Tomasek, public health nurse in Pierce County, said.

Local residents have been wondering if Goodhue and Pierce counties have any drop-off locations where they can properly dispose of their unwanted medications, and the answer to that is yes, there are many.

Goodhue County

The county has a program called Safe Alternative For Everyone or S.A.F.E., which allows residents to properly dispose of their old medications.

Drug disposal boxes are located at:

Goodhue County Law Enforcement Center

430 W. Sixth St., Red Wing

Available seven days a week, 24 hours a day

Wanamingo City Hall/Sheriff’s Office

401 Main St., Wanamingo

Available Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to noon

Zumbrota City Hall

175 W. Ave., Zumbrota

Monday-Friday 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Kenyon Police Department

709 Second St., Kenyon

Available seven days a week, 24 hours a day

Jessica Seide, community health specialist for Goodhue County, said that many items are accepted at the drop boxes, including narcotics, medication samples, pet medications, vitamins, prescription drugs, inhalers, medicated ointments and more.

Before placing anything in the box, please remove your name and personal information, and close the medication container.

Pierce County

The county has a 24-hour drop box in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office located at 555 Overlook Drive, Ellsworth.

Local police departments will also accept old or unwanted medications during regular business hours.

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