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Seattle/Western Wash. News Releases for Wed. Oct. 20 - 2:45 pm
Police & Fire
DEA Holds National Prescription Drug Take Back Day to Turn the Tide Against the U.S. Opioid Epidemic - 146 Collection Sites in the Pacific Northwest
DEA Seattle - 10/19/21 2:48 PM

SEATTLE - The Drug Enforcement Administration will host its 21st National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event offers free and anonymous disposal of unneeded medications at more than 4,000 local drop-off locations nationwide.

This Saturday, is another opportunity for the Pacific Northwest to dispose of unwanted, unused and expired medication at one of the 146 collection sites throughout the region.  Currently there are 18 collection sites in Alaska, 29 collection sites in Idaho, 26 collection sites in Oregon and 73 collection sites in Washington. Last April, residents of the Pacific Northwest turned in 36,259 pounds.

According to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that last year, more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States, marking the largest number of drug-related deaths ever recorded in a year. Opioid-related deaths accounted for 75 percent of all overdose deaths in 2020.

For more than a decade, DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day has helped Americans easily rid their homes of unneeded medications—those that are old, unwanted, or no longer needed—that too often become a gateway to addiction. Working in close partnership with local law enforcement, Take Back Day has removed more than 7,000 tons of medication from circulation since its inception. These efforts are directly in line with DEA’s priority to combat the rise of overdoses plaguing the United States.

“The United States is in the midst of an opioid epidemic—drug overdoses are up thirty percent over the last year alone and taking more than 250 lives every day,” stated DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “The majority of opioid addictions in America start with prescription pills found in medicine cabinets at home. What’s worse, criminal drug networks are exploiting the opioid crisis by making and falsely marketing deadly, fake pills as legitimate prescriptions, which are now flooding U.S. communities. One thing is clear: prevention starts at home. I urge Americans to do their part to prevent prescription pill misuse: simply take your unneeded medications to a local collection site. It’s simple, free, anonymous, and it can save a life.”

“The DEA Drug Take Back is more important than ever and is a great opportunity for citizens of the Pacific Northwest to dispose of their unused, unwanted, or expired prescription medications,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino. “Properly disposing of these medications will prevent them from falling into the hands of our children. Please help keep our citizens and communities safe by taking the time to responsibly dispose of your unwanted prescription pills during National Drug Take Back Day.”

DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is more important than ever before. Last month, DEA issued a Public Safety Alert and launched the One Pill Can Killpublic awareness campaign to warn Americans of a surge in deadly, fake prescription pills driven by drug traffickers seeking to exploit the U.S. opioid epidemic and prescription pill misuse. Criminal drug networks are shipping chemicals from China to Mexico where they are converted to dangerous substances like fentanyl and methamphetamine and then pressed into pills. The end result—deadly, fake prescription pills—are what these criminal drug networks make and market to prey on Americans for profit. These fake, deadly pills are widely available and deadlier than ever. Fake pills are designed to appear nearly identical to legitimate prescriptions such as Oxycontin®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Adderall®, Xanax® and other medicines.Criminal drug networks are selling these pills through social media, e-commerce, the dark web and existing distribution networks.

Along with the alert came a warning that the only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Any pills that do not meet this standard are unsafe and potentially deadly. DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day reflects DEA’s commitment to Americans’ safety and health, encouraging the public to remove unneeded medications from their homes as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting.

On Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illicit drugs will not be accepted. DEA will also continue to accept vaping devices and cartridges provided lithium batteries are removed.

A location finder and partner toolbox are available at www.DEATakeBack.com for easy reference to nearby collection sites. Beyond DEA’s Take Back Day, there are also opportunities to regularly and safely dispose of unneeded medications at more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments, and businesses working to help clean out medicine cabinets throughout the year.

King Co. School Districts
Bellevue School District Exceeds 96% Compliance with Statewide COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement
Bellevue SD - 10/18/21 6:00 AM

BELLEVUE, Wash. —  The Bellevue School District is pleased to announce that more than 96% of its staff are in compliance with the governor’s COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement, per Proclamation 21-4.1. BSD staff have reached this level of compliance ahead of the October 18 deadline that requires K-12 education employees to be fully vaccinated or have approved exemptions.  

“We are extremely appreciative of our staff and their efforts to be in compliance with the requirements of the Governor’s Proclamation,” said Dr. Art Jarvis, Bellevue School District Superintendent. “Everyone on our staff plays a role in keeping our schools and learning communities safe, and this is just one way they have shown their commitment in doing so.” 

 In partnership with Safeway and Alberson's pharmacies, BSD has hosted 13COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout the year to ensure staff and families had convenient access to vaccinations and professional support. Through the clinics, more than 3,560 people received vaccines, including 1,100 staff. Over 1,500 students, 12 years of age and older, have received vaccinations. Additionally, clinics are being planned to accommodate vaccine boosters as well as vaccinations for children ages five to 12 once they are approved for use. 

 The Bellevue School District, with nearly 20,000 students and 29 schools, is a diverse and dynamic district in East King County, Washington. Its mission is “To serve each and every student academically, socially, and emotionally, through a rigorous and relevant education that is innovative and individualized. As a learning community that values one another’s humanity, we provide courageous support for equitable and exceptional education for all students.” 



South Sound Privates, Charters, Childcares
Annie Wright Schools Welcome Inaugural Cohort of Tacoma Scholars (Photo)
Annie Wright Schools - 10/14/21 6:55 PM
AWS Tacoma Scholars 2021
AWS Tacoma Scholars 2021

Tacoma, Wash. — Annie Wright Schools welcomed eight Grade 9 students to the inaugural cohort of Tacoma Scholars, a new program formed to provide an AWS education to local students who come from historically disadvantaged communities. Annie Wright Schools are committed to dismantling systemic racism by leveraging their core competencies: education and mentorship.


The inaugural class of Scholars includes eight students—four boys and four girls—from Tacoma. Annie Wright Schools are committed to enrolling four additional Grade 9 students every year. Each student receives a full scholarship, including laptop and books, and support to engage in Annie Wright’s robust travel program. Recognizing that lasting change will only be realized through professional opportunities and economic advancement, the arc of Tacoma Scholars extends from enrollment in Grade 9 through a Scholar’s first post-college job. 


“By providing a world-class education, support and mentorship throughout college, and access to Annie Wright Schools’ vast professional network, the program will create opportunity and affect change,” shares Jake Guadnola, Head of AWS. “The cost of funding Tacoma Scholars is significant, and while Annie Wright Schools could fundraise the full tuition for each Scholar, our intention is different. As a member of the Tacoma community since 1884, we see this work as ours to do in partnership with donors.”


Annie Wright funds 50% of each Scholar’s tuition from the school’s financial aid budget; donors fund the remaining 50%. Donors are not investing in Annie Wright; they are investing with Annie Wright. More importantly, they are investing in Tacoma students. 


The cohort of eight students joined Annie Wright Schools on September 1, 2021, as the school opened its 138th academic year. The students previously attended Baker Middle School, Chief Leschi Middle School, Jason Lee Middle School and Keithley Middle School. 


Annie Wright Schools are now accepting applications for Tacoma Scholars for the 2022-2023 school year. Current eighth grade students who live in or attend school in Tacoma are invited to learn more here or contact Alicia Mathurin, Director of Community Engagement, at 253.284.8634 or in@aw.org">alicia_mathurin@aw.org. Prospective donors may contact Grace Finch, Director of Development, at 253.284.8604 or ace_finch@aw.org">grace_finch@aw.org

Founded in Tacoma, Washington, in 1884, Annie Wright Schools serve students from age three through high school. Annie Wright Lower and Middle Schools offer co-ed programs in Preschool through Grade 8, while separate Upper Schools for boys and girls offer day and boarding options in Grades 9 through 12. Annie Wright is proud to be an International Baccalaureate World School. Learn more at www.aw.org.


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Attached Media Files: Press Release - AWS 10.14.2021 , AWS Tacoma Scholars 2021