HOUSTON — The North Harris County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (NHCSAPC) will host a DEA Prescription Drug Take-Back event on Saturday, October 28, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for members of the public to dispose expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs that are potentially dangerous.
The medications may be dropped-off at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office – Aldine Storefront at 5202 Aldine Mail Route. Pills, liquid medications and patches will be accepted. However, sharp objects such as syringes will not be accepted. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
“We are proud to partner with the North Harris County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition on this important effort to protect our children and our neighborhoods from exposure to potentially dangerous prescription drugs,” said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez. “As a parent myself, I encourage all families to take advantage of this opportunity to rid our homes of old, unneeded medications.”
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that sit in home cabinets can potentially be misused or stolen for misuse. Rates of prescription drug addiction are soaring in the U.S, and so are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs, particularly opioids like OxyContin and benzodiazepines like Xanax.
“We are hosting this drug take-back event because easy access to prescription drugs is a major risk factor for addiction and overdose,” said Coalition Director Emily Dean of Harris County Public Health. “We want to provide a safe and easy way for community members to reduce that risk by cleaning out home medicine cabinets.”
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—pose potential safety and health hazards.
“We have found that many people think that the best way to dispose of medicine is by flushing it down a drain.” Said Kristin Bennett, NHCSAPC Coalition Coordinator. “While some medications can be disposed of by flushing, most cannot without risking contamination of our drinking water.”
Last April, Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, Take Back events have taken in over 8.1 million pounds—more than 4,050 tons—of pills in the last six years.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 28 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website.
NHCSAPC is a community coalition facilitated by Harris County Public Health that aims to prevent youth drug abuse in the North Harris County communities of Aldine, Greenspoint, Trinity Gardens, East Little York and Acres Homes. We are funded by Texas Health and Human Services Commission. We collaborate to reduce access to addictive substances, raise awareness about the risks of underage drinking and prescription drug abuse, and promote healthy activities for youth. For more information about NHCSAPC, please contact Kristin Bennett atKristin.Bennett@phs.hctx.net .