DECATUR, AL (WAFF) - When we purchase medications at the drug store, we expect them to last for as long as we need them. However, all drugs have a limit to their usefulness.
There was a time when people used to take their expired drugs and simply flush them down the toilet, but that could end up in your ground water, and it's also bad for the environment.
To avoid those scenarios, the Decatur Police Department is joining forces with the Mental Health Association, the DEA, and the U.S. Department of Justice for the 6th Annual National Drug Take Back Initiative.
Captain Nadis Carlisle heads the Decatur Police Department's criminal investigation division.
"The absolute, safest way to get rid of them is to burn them," he said.
He said they have some help in achieving their goal.
"We have been working with Nucor Steel since we've been involved in the take back drug initiative, and they burn all our drugs for us," said Carlisle.
He said the process is pretty simple.
"We buy some UPS security boxes. We report to the DEA the weight of our boxes because they keep a running record and totals of how many boxes that we took in, and we deliver that to Nucor Steel, under guard," he said.
There is always a safety concern for drug disposal, but Carlisle said this is the safest method.
"The burning process out at Nucor does not leave any carcinogens in the air, and this is by far the safest way to do this," he added.
He said the take back program will be Saturday, April 27th from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
"We ask them to box up or bag up all the drugs. We're not supposed to take any liquid drugs and, of course, we don't take any illegal drugs - no marijuana, no cocaine - and bring the prescription drugs to us," Carlisle said.
They will take over the counter pills as well.
There are several locations participating April 27th:
- Bender's Elite Fitness in Decatur
- Pizza Hut in Hartselle
- Laceys Spring Volunteer Fire Department