The city of Austin, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Agency, is offering a way for residents to declutter their medicine cabinets of unused or expired medications through Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 26.
Councilwoman Laura Morrison said the event allows residents to safely dispose of their medications
"There are lots of reasons to want to do that," Morrison said. "First of all, to protect your kids so they won't inadvertently—or not—come upon the drugs and abuse them."
Morrison added that proper disposal also keeps the chemicals out of the water supply.
The event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at various locations throughout the city as well as in Bastrop, Bee Caves, Buda, Burnet, Cedar Park, Elgin, Georgetown, Lakeway, Round Rock Smithville and Taylor.
"The fastest-growing drug abuse problem that we have—it's becoming an epidemic—is prescription drug abuse," said Greg Thrash, Austin office resident agent in charge for the Drug Enforcement Agency.
According to a national survey on drug use and health sponsored by the federal government, more people abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, hallucinogens, methamphetamine and heroin combined.
Thrash said since the start of the Drug Take-Back Day in 2007, officials have collected more than 15,000 pounds of expired and unwanted drugs from Austin and the surrounding areas.
Needles and tips for blood testing also are accepted during the event, along with over-the-counter drugs. Officials said medication drop-off is anonymous, and all drugs collected will be incinerated.
Locations throughout Austin include:
Austin Vet Center, 2015 S. I-35
Barton Creek Square Mall, 2901 S. Capital of Texas Hwy.
City of Austin Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 2541 Business Center Drive
Cornerstone Church, 1101 Reinli St.
Travis County Sheriff's Office, 8656 W. Hwy. 71
For more information and additional locations, visit www.dea.gov.