The Dangers of Expired Prescription DrugsFor the most part, prescription medication simply loses its effectiveness over time. But some liquid medications might actually increase in potency, and others, such as some antibiotics, can cause significant damage when expired. Therefore, the federal government mandates that all prescription and over-the-counter medications include an expiration date, often about two to three years from purchase.
There are a couple of other dangers associated with expired prescription drugs as well. First, many people are unaware of how to properly dispose of them. They might flush them down the toilet or drain, an action that could cause polution of water supplies or danger to animal life, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In addition, Oklahoma law enforcement officials warn that drug abusers often target expired medicines left in the home. Forgotten drugs are often stolen, or perhaps even sold by teenagers or other family members.
Oklahoma Prescription Drug Disposal ProgramEstablished in early March 2011, a new prescription drug disposal program from the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control is thought to be the first of its kind in the nation. In order to safely dispose of the dangerous, expired medicines, permanent drug disposal boxes have been placed throughout the state of Oklahoma. The boxes resemble white postal boxes, include the state's drug agency emblem, and allow residents to drop off expired prescriptions at anytime. State agents then properly dispose of the drugs in a variety of ways, such as grinding and mixing them in concrete.
Prescription Drug Disposal Locations in the Oklahoma City MetroUnder the statewide program by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, prescription drug drop-off boxes are placed at police and sheriff's office locations or substations in all 77 counties. Here are some of the Oklahoma City metro locations for expired prescription drug disposal:
- Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department (201 N. Shartel)
- Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department Deer Creek (NW 206th and Portland)
- Midwest City Substation (SE 29th and Midwest Blvd.)