Popular drug take back program ends - KMOV.com

Popular drug take back program ends

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(KMOV.com) – A semi-annual prescription drug take back program that many felt was wildly successful is coming to an end.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) held the event each fall and spring, and collected more than 5,000,000 pounds of unwanted drugs. Some local towns such as Truesdale formed their own drop off points for prescription drugs year around.

“I would say almost daily, someone brings in medicine. Sometimes just a small bag, sometimes a large amount if someone has passed away,” said Truesdale City Administrator Mary Lou Rainwater.

With the program coming to an end, some towns have said they are running out of room to store the drugs.

“We’re backlogging these drugs in the evidence locker. We’re gonna run out of room until we dispose of them,” said Truesdale Mayor Murray Bruer.

Truesdale officials said they are unsure how they will dispose of the drugs. The take back program started to keep drugs out of the wrong hands because too many young people were raiding the family medicine cabinet to feed an addiction. The program was also put in place to prevent drugs from being flushed down the toilet, then into streams and rivers, and eventually into drinking water. The DEA said the buyback was never meant to be permanent.

“It’s a massive undertaking across the country with thousands upon thousands of collection points. We were happy to do it but we did realize what we were doing was not a sustainable way to do it,” said Scott Collier with the DEA.

The take back push was set up while lawmakers were in the process of changing laws to allow pharmacies to collect unwanted drugs from consumers. However, that practice is not legal in Missouri. 

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