Drug Take-Back Program Aims at Protecting People and Water from the Outrageous Amounts of Leftover Drugs


Cook County, Ill., adopted an ordinance that will provide more than 5 million residents with convenient access to safe drug disposal. The ordinance makes Cook County the largest jurisdiction in the U.S. to require drug companies to safely dispose of unwanted medications, and adds to the two states, nine counties and two cities in the U.S. with similar drug take-back laws.

More than $1 billion in leftover drugs are thrown in the trash, flushed or consigned to medicine cabinets each year. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S., and nearly 70% of people who begin using prescription drugs non-medically get them from a family member or friend, often from medicine cabinets. Drugs left in the home also put seniors, children and pets at risk for accidental poisoning. When flushed or put in the trash, over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs can contaminate drinking water and harm aquatic species.

Source: Water Quality Products.