Mid-Missouri agencies collect prescriptions to cut down drug abuse

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COLUMBIA — The Boone County Sheriff's Department, Columbia Police Department and Jefferson City Police Department collected unused or unwanted prescription medications as part of a nationwide event to cut down prescription drug abuse.  

According to the Jefferson City Police Department, anyone was invited to dispose of any unwanted prescription medications with no questions asked. Saturday's take back event coincides with a national drug take back sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. 

The department said the drug take back event is held twice a year to address "a public safety and public health issue." It said a majority of abused prescription drugs come from medicine cabinets of family and friends. 

Julie Ray, a detective with the Columbia Police Department said Saturday's event helps people get rid of prescriptions safely. 

"You don't want it to get into the ground or the water or anything like that so you don't want anybody else to get a hold of it either," Ray said. "Children or anything like that. You also don't want your pets to get them."

The Jefferson City Police Department said usual methods for disposing of unused medicines - flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash - poses potential safety and health hazards. The Columbia Police Department said proper disposal protects the environment especially ground source water that could be harmed by flushed prescription drugs. 

Ray said prescriptions dropped off at the event will be collected and incinerated by the DEA. She said people can drop off any medications except inhalers and anything with a needle. 

Collection locations in Boone County included:

  • Southern Boone High School
  • Centralia Police Department lobby
  • Hallsville Intermediate School Commons
  • Hickman High School
  • Rock Bridge High School 
  • Prengers Grocery Store in Sturgeon

Jefferson City Police collected unwanted prescription drugs in the alley on the south side of the police department.