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Health & Science

Local Organization Plans Medication Take Back Events

Organizers say the goal is to dispose of drugs safely and to keep them out of the hands of kids.


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Uncapped amber medication bottle
CDC/ Amanda Mills
Uncapped amber medication bottle

The Bay Area Alliance for Youth and Families is holding three medication take-back events later this month.

"Sometimes the scariest things aren't what's on the street corner but the things that we have in our own medicine cabinets or supply closets," says Amanda McLauchlin, who is with the group that's conducting the effort.

Over the past six years the organization has sponsored the take-backs. McLauchlin says they've collected over 12,000 pounds of pills, medications that could lead to abuse, misuse, or accidental poisonings.

She says, in many cases, people are trying to get rid of large amounts of pills after a family member has died.

"But we also see medications because maybe someone had a procedure and they needed a pain medication for a day or two but they got a 30-day supply," explains McLauchlin. "And so all of a sudden they have all these pain pills and they don't want their children to get ahold of it."

And McLauchlin says it's not a good idea to wash medications down the drain or flush then down the toilet.

"All of the research is still coming in, but it's the idea of it getting back into our water supply and affecting us in different ways," says McLauchlin. "So just to be both helpful to our community, our environment, as well as to our kids, this is the easiest way to get rid of your medication."

The Bay Area Alliance is holding three medication take-back events on October 22.

They're at the League City Police Department, the Webster Fire Station, and the Houston Police Department Clear Lake Substation. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

McLauchlin says you won't have to give any personal information when you drop off your medications. She adds law enforcement will safely dispose of the drugs at an off-site location.