Stacking up and holding on to old, outdated or unwanted prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs and medications can become troublesome when it comes to disposing of these compounds, some of which can have detrimental effects on the community’s water supply.


To address that issue, the Melissa Police Department will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Drug Take Back Initiative” on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Melissa City Hall lobby, 3411 Barker Ave.


“We sometimes purchase prescriptions and use them until we’re beginning to feel better, then we forget that we have them,” Police Chief Duane Smith said. “That’s why we offer the Drug Take Back events, providing residents with the opportunity to safely dispose of these potentially harmful substances.”


The free service is designed to provide a place where unwanted or expired drugs can be safely and securely removed from circulation. Accepting these substances also prevents them from being introduced into the water supply.


Several fully-attended collection receptacles will be available to accept the drugs for eventual disposal. The service is anonymous, as no one will be asked questions regarding the medications.


The program, however, is not intended for illicit or illegal drugs or paraphernalia. And, needles, syringes and pressurized inhalers will not be accepted.


“These drugs need to be properly disposed of in order to prevent them from being abused,” Smith said. “Statistics from the federal Drug Enforcement Agency show that over 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers get them through friends or relatives right out of the family medicine cabinet.”


Also, people who flush prescription drugs down their toilets or sinks may be placing the community at risk, since the contaminated wastewater may eventually find its way back into the system.


For more information on the program, residents may call the program’s coordinator, officer Brandi Davidson at 972-838-1392 or via email at bdavidson@cityofmelissa.com.