Insight News

Feb 10th

6,700 pounds of unwanted medicines collected in medicine drop boxes during the first year

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med disposal box at psfThe Hennepin County Sheriff's Office and Hennepin County Environmental Services have collected 6,700 pounds of unwanted medicines since medicine disposal drop boxes were made available in March 2012. Hennepin County urges residents to properly dispose of their unused and unwanted medicines at six drop boxes located in Sheriff and county facilities.

The abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medication is an epidemic in the U.S. and a growing problem in Hennepin County. Most people addicted to painkillers have said that their supply of drugs came from the home medicine cabinet of a family member or friend.

"Do not become the drug supplier to your teenager – or anyone else," said Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek, "Secure the medicine that you need in a safe place and properly dispose of expired or unused medications to help reduce the risk of addiction and improper use."

Storing medicines in the home poses both safety and health threats. A recent study found that among high school seniors, taking painkillers is one of the most popular methods of getting high, second only to marijuana. For toddlers, poisonings from accidentally ingesting medicines are on the rise.

Proper disposal also helps to protect the environment. "Medicines flushed down the drain or disposed of in the trash can contaminate bodies of water, harm wildlife and end up in drinking water supplies," said Hennepin County Commissioner Jan Callison. "Using a medicine drop box is an easy and convenient way to safely dispose of your unwanted medicines while helping to protect our water quality."

Medicine drop boxes are available in the following locations:
• Brooklyn Center – Hennepin County District Court Brookdale
6125 Shingle Creek Pkwy., Brooklyn Center MN 55430
Hours: Mon. – Thurs.: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Fri. – Sat.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.,
Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.

• Brooklyn Park – Hennepin County Sheriff Patrol Headquarters
9401 83rd Ave. N., Brooklyn Park MN 55445
Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

• Edina – Hennepin County Library – Southdale
7009 York Ave. S., Edina MN 55435
Hours: Mon. – Thurs.: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri. – Sat.: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.

• Minneapolis – Hennepin County Public Safety Facility
401 Fourth Ave. S., Minneapolis MN 55415
Hours: 24 hours a day/seven days of week

• Minnetonka – Hennepin County District Court Ridgedale
12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka MN 55305
Hours: Mon. – Thurs.: 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri. – Sat.:10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday: Noon – 5 p.m.

• Spring Park – Hennepin County Sheriff's Water Patrol
4141 Shoreline Drive, Spring Park MN 55384
Hours: Mon. – Fri.: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Materials accepted
Medicine from households are accepted, including:
• Prescription medicines, including controlled substances
• Over-the-counter medicines
• Vitamins and supplements
• Pet medicines

Not accepted
• No sharps or used syringes
• No medicines from businesses

• The green medicine drop boxes are located in the lobby at each location.
• No ID required.
• The service is free.
• Bring medicines in their original containers.
• The boxes are self-serve. Pull the handle to open and drop the medicine into the box.

For more information, visit or call Hennepin County Environmental Services at 612-348-3777.

Please note: The totals indicated include medicine in the drop boxes and do not include medicine disposal at special events.

Help solve crimes! Send your crime tip to the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office. You will remain anonymous. There are several different ways to contact us:

• Text the keyword HCSOtip to 847 411
• Go to for a tip form & more information
• Use the QR code

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