People are not always certain how to safely rid themselves of unused medication, which is where National Drug Take Back Day comes into the picture.

The day is a Drug Enforcement Administration event. Officer Doug Welborn, with the Fairbanks Police Department, said the department holds it two times a year: April and October.

He described it as a time when residents can drop off unused medications to be disposed of in a safe manner.

“The DEA sends us all of the packing materials, and it’s all strictly monitored,” Welborn said. “It’s very confidential. We don’t ask any questions. You can come, drop the items off and everything goes back to the DEA, is completely incinerated and destroyed, so there’s no risk of any of the personal information getting out.”

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, the department had cardboard boxes stuffed with red biohazard bags to contain medications as people came by and dropped them off.

Nearby, the dropoff bins was a table set up with lists of Fairbanks resources, including needle exchange information, detox services, and local treatment options. On the same table were Safer Lock combination locks that fit over medication lids, for further security than regular childproofing.

Welborn noted there’s a 24/7 medsafe in the lobby of the Police Department, where people can drop off medications at any time. The safe — a locked medication disposal kiosk — was purchased by Sunrisers Rotary Club for the Police Department.

“So if anyone misses the Drug Take Back today, they can come in any time, 365 days a year, and dispose of their medications here,” Welborn said.

Locations this year included the Fairbanks and North Pole police departments, the Alaska State Troopers Fairbanks Post and both Fairbanks Fred Meyer locations.

Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7510. Follow her on Twitter at: