Safe, legal, and long-term disposal options for prescription drugs and other pharmaceuticals remain largely unavailable for local governments due to funding and logistical limitations. The lack of registered collectors, such as retail pharmacies; the absence of extended producer responsibility for the cost of disposal options; and, confusion regarding the regulatory framework for the handling and disposing of unwanted medications are a few of the challenges. Improper drug disposal results in negative impacts to humans, streams, drinking water, wildlife, and agriculture.
Therefore, developing a solution for this significant problem is a priority for the North Central Texas region to address. Although many communities have taken advantage of twice-yearly take-back events, these Drug Enforcement Agency sponsored events are neither a regularly available nor permanent solution for prescription drug disposal.
Drugs and medications dumped down toilets or drains leads to water contamination and pollution. When taken to the landfill, prescriptions and drugs do not break down easily, and also can harm wildlife and again lead to the contamination of our water supply. These negative impacts will continue to get worse without a proper disposal method, as the number of medications and drugs improperly thrown away will accumulate over time.