Area residents will be able to dispose of their unwanted or unneeded prescription medication at local police departments and Fort Hood exchanges today and Saturday.
Disposal receptacles have been placed at Copperas Cove and Killeen police departments as a part of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s annual Drug Take-Back initiative.
The program allows for the safe disposal of prescription drugs that either could be abused or may be harmful if accidentally taken.
“It keeps teenagers or kids from being able to get a hold of that medicine that’s not theirs,” said Copperas Cove police Sgt. Jeremy Alber.
The 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health now shows abuse of prescription drugs in the U.S. outnumbers the abuse of all illegal drugs combined.
“Kids can take those drugs,” said Killeen police spokeswoman Carroll Smith. “They either take them themselves or sell them.”
All prescription drugs will be accepted, no questions asked. The DEA then will collect the medicine and dispose of it safely.
Participating in the take-back also can prevent crimes. The possession of prescription drugs by someone other than the prescribed recipient can lead to a charge of possession of a dangerous drug. The crime ranges in punishment from misdemeanor to felony level, depending on the type of drug.
Disposing of prescription drugs also prevents the possibility of polluting the area’s water supply by flushing drugs down the toilet, Smith said.