Oklahoma drug officials recommend that expired prescription drugs be disposed of properly, but many in Oklahoma City and across the state don’t know how. Here’s information on prescription drug disposal in the greater Oklahoma City area, how and where to dispose of dangerous and expired drugs.
The dangers of expired prescription drugs
For the most part, prescription drugs just lose their effectiveness over time. But some liquid medications can actually increase their potency, and others, like some antibiotics, can cause significant damage when they expire. Therefore, the federal government requires that all prescription and over-the-counter drugs include an expiration date, often approximately two to three years after purchase.
There are also other dangers associated with expired prescription drugs. First, many people are unaware of how to get rid of them properly. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), they could flush them down the toilet or drain, an action that could contaminate water supplies or endanger animal life.
Additionally, Oklahoma law enforcement officials warn that drug addicts often target expired medications left at home. Forgotten medications are often stolen, or perhaps even sold by teens or other family members.
Oklahoma Prescription Drug Elimination Program
Established in early March 2011, the Oklahoma Office of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs’ new prescription drug phase-out program is believed to be the first of its kind in the nation. In order to dispose of dangerous and expired drugs, permanent drug disposal boxes have been placed throughout the state of Oklahoma. The boxes resemble white postal boxes, include the emblem of the state drug agency, and allow residents to drop off expired prescriptions at any time. State agents then properly dispose of the drugs in various ways, such as crushing them and mixing them into concrete.
Prescription Drug Disposal Locations in the Oklahoma City Metro
Under the state program of the Oklahoma Office of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, prescription drug delivery boxes are placed at police and sheriff’s offices 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 NE 23rd Street)
- Del City Police Department (4517 SE 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 Office of Narcotics (419 NE 38th Terrace)
- Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department (201 N. Shartel)
- Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Department (8029 SE 29th Street)
- Oklahoma Deer Creek County Sheriff’s Department (NW 206th and Portland)
- University of Oklahoma 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 the locations or the program, visit the Oklahoma Office of Narcotics website or call (800) 522-8031.