COLUMBIA — Don't flush that unwanted bottle of pills, the Boone County Sheriff's Department says. There are better ways to dispose of prescription medications.
On Friday and Saturday, the Sheriff's Department will be collecting medications at various places in mid-Missouri at its semi-annual Prescription Medication Take Back Day.
The Boone County Sheriff's Department will be hosting a take-back program for prescription medication in mid-Missouri Friday and Saturday at the following locations:
- From 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Truman Veterans Hospital Hospital,800 Hospital Drive.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at MU Student Center.
- From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hickman High School, 1104 N. Providence, in Columbia.
- From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rock Bridge High School, 4303 S. Providence, in Columbia.
- From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ashland High School, 1440 King Road, in Ashland.
- From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Centralia City Hall, 114 S. Rollins, in Centralia.
- From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Hallsville Intermediate School, 411 E. Highway 124, in Hallsville.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Sturgeon High School, 24350 N. Fairgrounds Road, in Sturgeon.
Source: Boone County Sheriff's Department
Flushing medication down the toilet or the drain can cause trace amounts of the medication to taint the drinking water supply and pose risks for others, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
"There are many potential dangers regarding unused, expired and unneeded medications," Boone Plaza pharmacy supervisor Christine Janicek wrote in an email.
Janicek said that regularly disposing of unwanted medication can help prevent individuals from abusing prescription drugs.
"We know that millions of Americans abuse prescription drugs, and that includes teens who get high for the first time by abusing prescription drugs," Janicek wrote. "The majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including the home medicine cabinet."
People can prevent painkiller medications, such as oxycodone or hydrocodone, from being resold on the streets by disposing of them, Boone County Sheriff's Detective Tom O'Sullivan said.
At a previous take-back event hosted in May, the Sheriff's Department collected more than 43,000 unwanted pills, O'Sullivan said.
People who are unable to attend the take-back event can mix their unwanted medication with inedible substances, such as cat litter or detergent, and seal it in a container and throw it in the trash, according to the FDA.