Boone County to hold prescription drug take back events

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COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department is organizing seven prescription drug collections Friday and Saturday. 

These collections are in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Agency's National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday. 

Major Tom Reddin with the sheriff's department said this is a way people can make sure their old prescriptions don't fall into the wrong hands. 

"There's no reason to keep old medications around," he said. "Temptation for the young might come along or they could up end up being used and abused in ways they were not intended."

According to the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.9 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs last year. 

There will be two collection sites in Boone County on Friday. One will be at the MU Student Center and the other will be at the Harry S. Truman VA Hospital. Collection at both sites will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On Saturday, there will be collections at Rock Bridge High School, Hickman High School, the Ashland Police Department, the Hallsville Police Department and the Centralia Police Department. These sites will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This is the tenth year for the take back program in Boone County. Reddin said it has become a popular option for people looking to get rid of excess medication. 

"In that first year, we collected maybe 130 pounds of medications," he said. "It is now routine that we collect 600 or more pounds at each collection." 

Reddin said the process to drop off unused medication is very simple and should take less than a minute. 

After collection ends, Boone County Sheriff's deputies will secure the medication until the DEA picks it up, which Reddin said should happen within a few days. The DEA will then incinerate all the collected medication. 

Reddin said there are also methods of at-home disposal that can be used if going to a collection site is not possible. He said the medication should be placed in an old detergent bottle with water or soda and cat litter, which will start to break down the medication and make it "unpalatable." Then, the lid should be duct taped on, and the bottle can be thrown away. 

Reddin said this method of disposal will not let the medication seep into groundwater in Boone County because the Columbia landfill is lined. 

To find the nearest prescription drug take back site, use this tool