West Texans Help Keep Prescription Drugs off the Streets 9/5/12
CBS 7 Reporter
September 5, 2012
Midland, TX -Prescription drugs can be deadly if the pills get into the wrong hands.
That’s why one Midland organization works all year to get expired or unwanted medications off the streets.
Now the community is showing overwhelming support and cleaning out their medicine cabinets.
The Midland Coalition put out 2 permanent drop boxes for unwanted or expired prescription drugs and within 10 days the boxes were overflowing. Organizers and the DEA say it's proof that this service was desperately needed in the community.
Today volunteers spent the afternoon going through the bags, bins and buckets of unwanted prescription drugs.
"Obviously it's well received, you can tell it's important to the community," explains Volunteer Pat Stanley.
Stanley even brought in a few bottles herself.
"I found 2 that I never finished taking because of bad side effects."
"This just the tip of the iceberg I'm sure," says Program Coordinator Kim Henderson.
Last week Henderson went to empty the drop boxes with one plastic bin but she left with 2 jam-packed containers and 3 trash bags full of unwanted medications.
"I was overwhelmed, we had so many medications dropped off in just less than 10 days the box at Graham pharmacy was overflowing."
And just 4 days later it's full again with pills that could be dangerously addictive or even deadly.
"Some of the youth find this the easiest way to get a little high and they think ‘well it's safe because they're prescribed medications,’ Henderson explains. “They aren't prescribed for them so they don't realize it could be harmful to them."
"If we can get rid of it let's get rid of it," Stanley says as she counts the pills.
The volunteers may be here for hours trying to empty these bags but if it keeps the drugs off the streets, they say, it's worth it.
The coalition also says not to flush your unwanted medication because it can hurt our water source. They are now discussing putting in more drop boxes around town to address the need.
One of the drop boxes is located inside of the Midland County Sheriffs office lobby at 400 South Main Street. The other box is inside of Graham Pharmacy on Wall Street.