COLUMBIA — Boone County authorities will provide places where residents can safely dispose of unused prescription drugs on Friday and Saturday.
The effort is part of the Drug Enforcement Agency’s fourth National Take-Back Day. The event, hosted by the Youth Community Coalition, local law enforcement agencies and MU, encourages people across the country to dispose of their unused medication in order to prevent prescription drug abuse in teenagers.
Residents can drop prescription drugs off at one of eight locations on Friday and Saturday. Drop-off dates and sites are:
- Truman Veterans Hospital, 800 Hospital Drive, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- MU Student Center, 901 Rollins St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Saturday, All sites are open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.:
- Rock Bridge High School, 4303 S.Providence Road.
- Hickman High School, 1104 N.Providence Road.
- Southern Boone County High School, 14520 Crump Lane, Ashland.
- Centralia Police Station lobby, 114 S. Rollins St., Centralia.
- Hallsville Intermediate School, 411 E. Highway 124, Hallsville.
- Sturgeon High School, 24350 N. Fairgrounds Road, Sturgeon.
The abuse of prescription opioids, or pain relievers, is most common in teenagers and young adults, according to a study in a January 2012 issue of the National Journal of Drug Policy.
Vicodin, Percocet and Avinza are examples of opioids.
Many abusers gain easy access to prescription drugs through their own prescriptions, family members or friends, according to the study. The study also states early abuse of prescription drugs can lead to the abuse of harder narcotics, such as heroin.
Other commonly abused prescription drugs include depressants for the treatment of anxiety and sleep disorders and stimulants for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a 2011 National Institute on Drug Abuse study.
The study listed Xanax, Valium and Ambien as examples of depressants.
In Boone County, 7 percent of teenagers in sixth through 12th grades abused prescription drugs, according to a 2012 Missouri study cited in a Youth Community Coalition release. The same study found that 5 percent of sixth- through 12th-graders abused over-the-counter medicine.
Contact Ryan Worley at the Youth Community Coalition at 449-1993 for more information, including which medications the sites will accept and which ones they will not.