Substance Use Prevention
Mason County Community Services - Public Health supports healthy behaviors and knowledge by facilitating the Mason County Substance Abuse Prevention Education Partners (PEP) Coalition.
The Prevention Education Partners Coalition began in January 2014 to address some of the high risk health behaviors and needs of youth in mason County, Washington. The Coalition has since expanded beyond Shelton to also include North Mason and is made up of a diverse group of community partners and passionate community members dedicated to alcohol and substance abuse prevention. The mission of PEP is to support efforts to reduce substance abuse and related harmful behaviors and to increase healthy behaviors among youth by developing and implementing strategies in a culturally relevant and competent way.
PEP Coalition Meeting Information
- Meetings are open to public attendance and participation:
- Meetings are scheduled for the Third Wednesday of each month 3:00 - 4:30PM.
For meeting location, contact Ben Johnson at 360-427-9670 x 545.
Some Coalition activities include: implementation of nine prescription take-back boxes in Mason County, distribution of 350 marijuana lock-boxes to retailers, partnering with Environmental Health to distribute No Smoking or Vaping signs to restaurants and stores throughout the county. We are currently partnering with the City of Shelton to add No Vaping policies to all City Parks. (2023)
Drug overdose has surpassed car crashes as the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Two-thirds of teens who report abuse of prescription medicines are getting them from friends, family and acquaintances, often without their knowing.
Flushing unneeded prescription drugs is not the right way to dispose of these medicines. Medications that are flushed or poured down the drain can end up polluting the environment and our food and water systems. Throwing prescription medications away in the trash is also unsafe, since they can still be retrieved and used incorrectly..
Proper storage and disposal of prescription medications will help to keep our family, friends, and the environment safer and healthier.
Tips to safely manage the medicines in your home:
Step 1: Monitor
- Taking note of how many pills are in each of your prescription bottles or pill packets.
- Keep track of your refills, as well as those of other members of your household.
- If your teen has been prescribed a medicine, be sure to monitor dosages and refills.
- Encourage friends and relatives to also regularly monitor their own medicines.
Step 2: Secure
- Secure your prescription medicines the same way you would other valuables in your home.
- Keep all medicines, both prescription and over-the-counter, in a safe place, such as a locked cabinet.
- Encourage friends and relatives to also secure medicines in their homes.
Step 3: Dispose
- To help prevent unauthorized refills and to protect your family’s privacy, remove any personal, identifiable information from prescription bottles or pill packages before you throw them away.
- Unless the directions on the packaging say otherwise, do not flush medications down the drain or toilet.
- Safely disposing of expired or unused prescription medicines is important to ensure they are not used in an incorrect or unsafe way. One easy way of doing this is to take your medications to a drug take-back box in your area.
We can all help to protect our kids, families and environment by disposing of our expired or unused prescription medications properly. We now have five prescription take-back boxes located at the Belfair Rite Aid and Peninsula Health Clinic, Belfair and Shelton Safeway, Skokomish and Squaxin Island Indian Tribes along with Niels Pharmacy, The Mason Clinic, and the Shelton Pharmacy.
These boxes are for prescription and over-the-counter medications only. Needles or sharps are not accepted at these locations. Illicit drugs are also not accepted at these deposit locations and should be turned over to a law enforcement officer.
Check with your local pharmacy for information on disposal of sharps or needles. Otherwise, needles and other sharps should be placed in a hard, puncture-proof container with a tightly secured lid and placed in the garbage. Mason County Public Health and Human Services and local hospitals do not take these items at this time.For more information on proper storage of medications or the take-back boxes available in Mason County, call (360) 427-9670 ext. 400.