Improper disposal of drugs can accidentally poison children or pets who find them in the trash can. They can be scavenged from trash receptacles to be illegally used or sold. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported in a poll that 70% of high school seniors using prescription drugs, not prescribed for them, got them from a friend or relative.
Besides potentially hurting loved ones or pets, improper disposal of unused drugs can hurt the environment. Some medication products should not be flushed down the toilet or drain, burned in the open, or thrown in the trash because they can contaminate the environment if they get into drinking and ground water. They may kill bacteria or produce drug resistant bacteria in sewage treatment plants and septic systems if flushed down the drain. Burning can release toxic pollutants into the air. For more information regarding disposal of medicines, visit the U.S. FDA page here.
St. Matthews Police Department is pleased to make a dropbox available to residents Monday through Friday, from 8 AM to 4 PM. Residents wishing to make a deposit in the Drug Disposal Box must follow some simple steps:
- bring prescription drugs in their original containers to the department;
- you will then place the pills in a plastic bag provided by the St. Matthews Police;
- do not include over the counter medications;
- make sure deposit does not include liquid medicines, inhalers, creams, lotions, patches or needles. Please contact your physicians office or pharmacy for the proper disposal of these items.
The deposit box is located on the first floor of the City Hall building, inside the Police entrance. Parking is free and just feet from the entrance. After the box is full, the drugs will be incinerated by SMPD officers in an undisclosed location. To learn about which drugs should be disposed of in a community drug disposal location and which drugs can be disposed of easily from any residence click here.