COLUMBIA — Residents can bring their old medications on Saturday to multiple locations within Boone County for the Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
The Youth Community Coalition is partnering with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and the MU, Hallsville, Centralia, Ashland and Sturgeon police departments in order to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse.
WHEN: 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday
WHERE: Eight Boone County locations:
- Rock Bridge High School, 4303 S. Providence
- Hickman High School, 1104 N. Providence
- Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital, 800 Hospital Drive
- Southern Boone County High School, 14520 S. Crump Lane, Ashland
- Harrisburg High School, 801 S. Harris St., Harrisburg
- Centralia Community Room, 114 S. Rollins, Centralia
- Hallsville High School, 411 Hwy, 124 E, Hallsville
- Sturgeon Middle School, 210 W. Patton St., Sturgeon
Local community organizations are required by the Drug Enforcement Administration to partner with law enforcement agencies for prescription take backs, said Ryan Worley, program coordinator for the Youth Community Coalition. Police will oversee the possession and proper disposal of the medications.
“Right now, the national government is working on a way to streamline the medication disposal process,” Worley said. “There currently isn’t a program that is easily accessible and not costly.”
Pharmacies can’t take medications for destruction, although they do have patient information sheets for proper disposal, said Taylor Blackford, a pharmacist at Kilgore’s Medical Pharmacy.
“When you purchase or are prescribed a controlled substance, it’s yours,” Worley said. “You’re left with pills that you don’t need and might never use again. Someone else might try to abuse it.”
Raising awareness about drug overdose and abuse is the first step, Worley said. The next step is to monitor and secure medications, along with talking to children and teenagers about the proper use of medicine.
Residents can pick up handouts at the take back locations, which contain information about the proper disposal of medications. Parents and adults can also pick up information about teenage drug abuse.
In June 2010, the Youth Community Coalition and its partners collected 43,000 pills from around Boone County in the first take back day of the year. Although this is just a dent, it’s a start, Worley said.
There are some medications that can’t be brought to the take back, such as needles. Most pills and medications can be disposed of at the take back, unless the label specifically encourages to flush the medication down the toilet, Worley said.
Residents must bring photo identification and medications in the original prescription bottle or package to the take back. Besides prescription medications, residents can bring in over-the-counter medications, such as cough syrup. Residents can also bring in medications that belong to immediate family members.
If you can’t make it to a take back site, visit the City of Columbia’s website to learn about safe disposal of medications.