Drug take-back coming to MSSU

The Alliance of Southwest Missouri has expanded its efforts for this year’s first Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet drug take-back.

The event allows people to bring in old medications for disposal. The goal is to reduce drug abuse.

Last April, the Alliance held its first event with only five locations. Now the number of locations has doubled. One of the locations is Missouri Southern’s Anderson Criminal Justice Building.

“The very first take-back we had was only five locations, and we’ve just been growing the program. And we decided to do one at Missouri Southern partly as a location issue in that side of town, but the other thing was getting students involved and making smarter choices and helping the environment as well,” said Melissa Schneider, safe teen coordinator at the Alliance of Southwest Missouri.

Schneider said over the counter and prescription drug abuse is often ignored. The Alliance of Southwest Missouri is trying to prevent the problem from spreading.

“The prescription drug take back was originally formulated because a Webb City police officer pulled over a couple of kids, and cough syrup bottles fell out of the backseat, and they were driving under the influence,” she said. “This made the community people aware of the problem of prescription drug abuse and over-the-counter drug abuse.”

Schneider said proper disposal methods are often ignored or just unknown, but the event allows people to take care of things in a safe and responsible manner. She said it was once advised to flush prescription drugs, but such advice has been outdated.

“People have found trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in the groundwater which becomes our drinking water, so proper disposal methods are a little time consuming. But the take-back method, we just incinerate them and it’s a pretty easy method,” Schneider said.

She also said no questions will be asked to those who wish to participate other than for marketing reasons.

“In the original take-backs five or six years ago, the DEA was requiring information from the person that was giving the drugs,” Schneider said. “You had to sign off that you were giving them drugs, and that’s not the case anymore.”

The organization intends to have a location set up by early September where people can drop off their prescriptions at the Joplin Police Department. The location was chosen to reduce chances of break in.

The campus location will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 30 in the Criminal Justice Building. Those who cannot make it to the event can find proper disposal methods online at theallianceofswmissouri.org.