Those looking to get rid of their unused, unwanted or expired medications can now properly dispose of them via a newly installed drop box located in the lobby of the Pettis County Sheriff’s Office. The location is one of ten permanent drop box locations across the state, part of a Missouri Youth/Adult Alliance (MYAA) program to reduce prescription drug abuse.
“Pathways Community Healthcare and the Pettis County Health Center have been working closely with Sheriff Kevin Bond to give Pettis County residents an easy way to keep their medicine cabinets clean,” said Cindy Gunter, coalition coordinator with Pathways. “According to the 2010 Missouri Student Survey, one in ten youth abused prescription drugs, so it is important to do as much as we can to make these kinds of substances less available.”
Proper disposal of medications has long been a difficult problem for Missourians. Flushing them pollutes the water supply. Throwing them in the trash makes an easy target – not only for thieves, but for pets and wildlife. And, due to regulations, pharmacists are not allowed to take medications back once they are dispensed.
“Missouri was one of the top states in the nation during the last national Drug Enforcement Agency’s take back day, collecting more than 12,000 pounds of medication,” said Mona Lara, MYAA Program Director. “With the permanent drop boxes, citizens can dispose of unwanted drugs anytime rather than having to wait for a scheduled collection day.”
Drugs can be deposited in the drop box anytime, day or night. There is no paperwork required. Just stop by the Sheriff’s Office lobby at 319 South Lamine and place the medications in the drop box.
“We get calls regularly from residents asking what to do with their unused medications,” says Sheriff Kevin Bond. “Thanks to the cooperative efforts of the health center and Pathways, we now have a location where drugs can be dropped off for proper disposal.”
Sheriff Bond has further established an agreement with Morgan County Sheriff Jim Petty to dispose of the collected medications in his agency’s drug incinerator. This allows the Sheriff’s Office to be in compliance with DEA disposal regulations.
MYAA is a statewide coalition made up of both teens and adults that help local communities address problems with underage drinking and drug use. MYAA is a program of ACT Missouri – the statewide training and resource center – and a sister program of the Missouri Recovery Network. For more information on MYAA, visit www.actmissouri.org.