Drug Takeback Takes Pills Off Columbia Streets

Oct 30, 2017

Credit Eric Hunsaker / Flickr

The Boone County Sherriff’s Department collected a record 972 pounds of medication in last weekend’s “Prescription Drug Take Back” event.

On Friday and Saturday, the Sherriff’s Department set up seven collection locations throughout Boone County where residents could drop off unwanted or leftover medication.

The program is held twice a year and has averaged about 500 to 600 pounds of collected prescription drugs in the past, but this year’s bump in participation helped surpass last April’s record of 895 pounds of medication.

“The first year we did this, in 2010, we collected maybe something over 100 pounds, 120 pounds worth of meds,” Boone County Major Tom Reddin says. “But this thing has grown and it’s become hugely popular and I get phone calls months ahead of the events wanting to know, ‘Hey when’s your next one?’ and all this other kind of stuff.”

Reddin also says it takes about 353 pills to make a pound of medication, so the weekend’s event took roughly 343,000 pills off Boone County’s streets. 

“It gives the community a way for them to be properly disposed of, prevents, you know, these medications from falling into hands where they might be used inappropriately, become abused. And it also keeps it out of the environment, as medications are often flushed down the toilet,” Reddin says.  

Reddin also says he is glad the program is popular with the public and the Sherriff’s Department will continue to run the event at least two times a year in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration.