Safe, legal, and long-term disposal options for prescription drugs and other pharmaceuticals remain largely unavailable for local governments due to funding and logistical limitations. Logistical limitations faced by local governments can include: the lack of registered collectors, such as retail pharmacies; the absence of extended producer responsibility for the cost of disposal options; and, confusion regarding the regulatory framework for the handling and disposing of unwanted medications. Improper drug disposal results in negative impacts to humans, streams, drinking water, wildlife, and agriculture.
Drugs and medications dumped down toilets or drains lead to water contamination and pollution. When medications are flushed or put down the sink, they end up at a local wastewater treatment facility. Treatment facilities have a difficult time filtering chemicals found in medications, as a result, trace amount of chemicals are found in our water supply and/or waterways. When medications are thrown in the trash, they are taken to the landfill. Many prescriptions and over-the-counter-drugs do not break down easily, and can harm wildlife and contaminate our water supply, especially when there is water runoff from landfills when not disposed of properly. The negative impacts will continue to get worse without a proper disposal method, as the number of medications and drugs improperly thrown away accumulates over time.
The North Central Texas region is committed to developing a solution to fix this significant problem. The Drug Enforcement Agency hosts an event, twice a year, to take back medications. There efforts are a start; however, we will continue to look for a permanent solution for prescription drug disposal.
Use the map below to find a take-back location near you.
If you are aware of a Med Take-Back location that is not on the map, enter/update your information here.
Here's how: Ask your local pharmacy if there are safe drop boxes for your leftover medications. Always read the label on the best way to dispose of your medications.
If there are no options for you to take your medications to a Med-Take Back event or give them to a safe disposal drop box, there are specific instructions to follow in throwing your medication in the trash.
This one day event drew approximately 75 stakeholders from across the North Central Texas region to communicate and coordinate a regional solution to the challenges regarding proper drug disposal and take-back.
Attendees heard from national and local experts regarding program implementation, while learning about the challenges and solutions of proper drug take-back and disposal, current state and regional programs and collection methods, program funding options, and much more.
The workshop outcome summary and materials will be available in the coming weeks.
If you have any questions regarding the workshop, please contact Cassidy Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.