(Houston) – A prescription drug take-back event will be held later this month in Houston.
People will be able to drop off unused or unwanted prescription medications Saturday, September 29 from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Houston Walmart. Officials with the Houston Police Department say no signatures are required and no questions are asked – simply drop the pharmaceuticals in the collection boxes and drive off. The drugs dropped off will be taken to a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) facility in Illinois for incineration.
Since the inception of these Drug Take-Back events during October 2010, nationwide collections have totaled nearly 500 tons (almost one million pounds) of pharmaceuticals.
The Drug Take-Back event is sponsored by the Houston Police Department, the Big Piney River Stream Team Watershed Association, and the Missouri Rural Water Association.
According to Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell, the event has three purposes: to help the public get rid of unwanted prescription medications; to remove the potential of drugs getting in the hands of children or thieves; and to remove the drugs from rivers and waterways, helping cut back on pollution.
National research indicates that 46 million Americans consume water contaminated with prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Missouri was one of 24 states where water samples from underground aquifers were tested and found to contain pharmaceuticals.
Research as yet is inconclusive regarding the health effects to humans that these pharmaceuticals in our drinking water supplies will have. Some scientists fear that these drugs could be the reason for high occurrences of infertility, early puberty, and breast cancer in the U.S. population, among other medical issues. Other scientists fear the creation of a “super” drug-resistant strain of bacteria. Fish and other aquatic life have been born blind and deaf, and some have extra appendages or altered reproductive organs due to tainted water.
Officials with the Big Piney River Stream Team Watershed Association urge people to not pollute waters by flushing unwanted medication down toilets.
Besides the Houston Walmart location, other Drug Take-Back event locations for September 29 in Southern Missouri include Reynolds County Sheriff’s Office at Centerville, Howell County Sheriff’s Office at West Plains, and the Doniphan Police Department.