Properly disposing your meds could save a life

By: Dorothy Sherman

AUBURN, AL – If you think it’s safe to just flush old medications down the toilet, think again.

“Studies have found that disposing of your prescription drugs by flushing it down the toilet have started showing up in our water supply,” Capt. Will Mathews of the Auburn Police Division said.

Tomorrow the Auburn Police Division along with the Auburn University Harrison school of pharmacy will be taking your unwanted or unused over-the-counter or prescribed medications for safe disposal.

“The school of pharmacy students will be there to actually take the drugs in they’ll remove any personal information from the packaging and revalue what type of drugs they are and package them up.  The police officers are there for seen security and they actually have to take possession of the drugs and deliver them to the DEA,” Capt. Mathews said.

Disposing your medications through the drug take back program not only prevents medications from getting into the water, but it also stops medications from getting into the hands of children.

“A lot of times younger children will get confused with medications.  They’ll see it as a candy, like a Skittle or M&M.  So, they’ll take it not knowing what it is and unfortunately that can lead to fatalities and injuries for the children,” student pharmacist at the Auburn University Harrison school of pharmacy, Tyler Dalton said.

But, it’s not just young kids that are at risk.  If you don’t properly dispose your medications they could wind up in the hands of teenagers for the wrong reasons.

“A lot of teens have what they call ‘pharm parties’, and they’ll go and raid their parents cabinets and just bring all these pills together.  Pour them in a bowl and just take a handful and then just take a handful or take a few at a time and that could leave to very serious things,” Dalton said.

Capt. Mathews said disposing medications in the trash could also lead the medications into our fresh water supply, potentially putting everyone in danger.

Mathews said that at the event they’ll be taking both controlled and non-controlled medications. 

Last year the event collected over 100 pounds of drugs.  The oldest drug they took back was from 1972.

The drug take back event in auburn will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT at Our Home Pharmacy 2320 Moores Mill Road in Auburn.

For more information on properly disposing medications log on to

A list of other local law enforcement agencies participating in National Drug Take Back day tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and where the event will be:


Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Beauregard Drugs 7667 AL HWY 51 Opelika, AL

Russell County Sheriff’s Office, Russell County Sheriff’s Office main lobby 205 Prentiss Drive Phenix City, AL

Phenix City Police Department, Phenix City Police Department 111 Broad Street Phenix City AL and Walmart 3700 280 Bypass, Phenix City, AL and Central Activity Center 1500 14th Street Phenix City, AL

Chambers County Sheriff’s Office, CVS Pharmacy 10 Veterans Memorial Parkway Lanett, AL


Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, CVS Pharmacy 1367 Double Churches Road Columbus, GA

Fort Benning Military Police, Fort Benning main exchange building 9222 Marne Road Fort Benning, GA

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