Missouri may be the next state to join Walgreens’ Medication Disposal Program if proposed House Bill 2105 passes.
Forty-five states currently participate in Walgreens’ program that was created to help fight the opioid crisis and drug abuse.
Phil Caruso, a spokesman for Walgreens, said the program has been successful so far. “In the course of 18 months, we collected 155 tons of unwanted medication,” he said.
Boone County residents are currently able to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs during the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Take Back Days, which happen twice a year. The Boone County Sherriff’s Department runs the Drug Take Back days. There is also a hazardous household waste collection two Saturdays each month from April through November.
Boone County Sherriff’s Department Major Tom Reddin says more opportunities than this are needed to effectively minimize drug abuse.
“A bill that authorizes pharmacies in the state of Missouri to accept returned medication for destruction is a huge step in the right direction,” Reddin said.
Missouri cannot participate because of a state statute, but Rep. Keith Frederick, R-Rolla, proposed House Bill 2105 to change that.
If House Bill 2105 is passed, Reddin said the sheriff’s department would continue to hold Drug Take Back Days until they are ineffective.
“In the short term, we would continue to have them until the word got out that you can dispose of them through your pharmacy,” Reddin said.
The sheriff’s department collected almost 972 pounds of drugs during October’s Take Back Day, according to the department’s press release.