Oklahoma drug officials recommend that expired prescription drugs be disposed of properly, but many in Oklahoma City and throughout the state do not know how to do so. Here is information on prescription drug disposal in the Oklahoma City metro area, how and where to get rid of dangerous, expired medicine.
The Dangers of Expired Prescription Drugs
For 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 pollution 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 Program
Established 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 any time. 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 Metro
Under 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:
- Edmond Police Department (23 E. 1st Street)
- Bethany Police Department (6714 NW 36th Street)
- Choctaw Police Department (13240 N.E. 23rd Street)
- Del City Police Department (4517 S. E. 29th Street)
- Midwest City Police Department (100 N. Midwest Blvd.)
- Moore Police Department (117 E. Main Street)
- Mustang Police Department (650 E. State Highway 152)
- Nicoma Park Police Department (2301 Nichols Drive)
- Norman Police Department (201 B West Gray)
- Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (419 NE 38th Terrace)
- Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department (201 N. Shartel)
- Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department (8029 SE 29th Street)
- Oklahoma County Sheriff's Department Deer Creek (NW 206th and Portland)
- Oklahoma University Science Center Police Department (934 NE 8th Street)
- The Village Police Department (2304 Manchester Drive)
- VA Medical Oklahoma City Center (921 NE 13th Street)
- Warr Acres Police Department (4801 North Reeves)
- Yukon Police Department (100 South Ranchwood)
For more information on locations or the program, see the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotic's website or call (800) 522-8031.