Prescription drug abuse rises, cities take back unused meds

POSTED: Friday, April 29, 2011 - 3:15pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- Nearly 3,000 teens use medicine to get high, according to Drug-Free America.

Alarmingly high numbers of prescription drug abuse.

Where they get them is as easy as reaching into the medicine cabinet.

"We're seeing a lot of abuse from people that they weren't prescribed for, whether it's kids in the household or relatives in the household or even burglaries, we're seeing drugs stolen on burglaries from homes," said Waco Police Department's Sgt. Patrick Swanton.

Now police and drug enforcement are taking action. If you have unwanted medication, they're asking that you take it to the police department for disposal.

"There's no questions asked. All we ask is that you come up, put your prescription drugs that you no longer use in the box and we'll dispose of them safely and properly," said Sgt. Swanton.

But what if your medicine isn't dangerous? even if you think your drugs are harmless, you still need to bring them in and drop them off.

That's because simply flushing them or putting them in the trash pose health hazards.

Water Technician for the City of Waco, Jonathan Echols, says they can end up in the water we drink.

"It's not known how harmful that can be, but it certainly is not a good thing and it [proper disposal] makes it easier for us to clean the water through the sewage treatment process. We just don't want pharmaceuticals in the water," said Echols.

The DEA expects to collect 300 pounds of medication over the weekend.

You can drop off at your local police department now through Sunday.


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