Kansans threw away 3,800 pounds of unused prescription drugs during the Oct. 29 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, according to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
That set a record for unused prescription collection.
Law enforcement officials collected the medicine at 60 locations statewide as part of a program sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Once collected, local authorities give the drugs to the DEA for incineration.
Schmidt’s office says it’s important to dispose of unused prescription drugs because many people who abuse such drugs get them by raiding a home medicine cabinet. It’s also another way to reduce the amount of medicine people flush down the toilet, which contaminates water supplies.
An Associated Press investigation in 2008 found traces of a vast array of pharmaceuticals in tiny concentrations in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans. Though far too diluted to present an immediate problem, the long-term consequences of exposure worry some scientists.