Why bringing in unneeded prescription drugs could save the environment and a life

Published: Apr. 27, 2019 at 10:00 PM CDT
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Law enforcement agencies in Clay County are helping curb drug addiction and overdose deaths by participating in a National Drug Take-Back Day Saturday.

"Nice to just not have things like that in your home so you don't have to worry about the kids getting into them," said Tiffany Swenson from Dilworth.

Swenson said she has a few cluttered prescription bottles and boxes in her medicine cabinets.

Last fall, the same kinds of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs were turned into the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) and law enforcement partners.

There were nearly 460 tons or to put it in another perspective, almost one million pounds of drugs.

Sergeant Chris Martin with the Moorhead Police Department stood outside Walgreen Saturday afternoon to stop drugs from getting into the wrong hands.

"We're taking it out of the individual's residence and destroying it in a safe means," said Martin.

He said that disposing of the unneeded medications cuts down on possible opioid addiction and a bigger issue.

"It can add pollutions to the water systems, to the environment," said Martin.

The DEA says that some communities prohibit the flushing of medications due to drugs residue found in rivers, lakes and community drinking supplies.

"I don't want any of that in my water either you know, you worry about things like that," said Tiffany Swenson.

If you have found that you were prescribed too many drugs from your doctor, Bernice Elk says it's one trip to a local disposal center that could save a life.

"It's best to just get rid of the drugs that you have in your home," said Elk.

The police department is asking you to keep sharp objects and thermometers outside of the drop boxes.

Here is a link to the DEA's website on Drug Take-Back Day: https://takebackday.dea.gov/

If you weren't able to make it one of these locations today, you can go to this link and find a disposal center near you: