The United States is facing an epidemic. Thousands of people are affected by opioid misuse every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999and so have sales of these prescription drugs.
The Department of Natural Resources has joined with all Missouri state agencies to help fight against the opioid crisis facing Missourians and the nation. The department is dedicated to providing information about the proper disposal of unused or expired medication to protect public health and our natural resources. Missouri State Park Rangers are also trained and prepared to assist by administering Naloxone in the event of a suspected opioid overdose.
We encourage you to learn more about how you can better protect yourself and your loved ones from opioid abuse, addiction and overdose.
Drug Take Back Programs
Drug Take-Back Programs are sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency. They are offered to residents by local law enforcement to provide a safe and convenient method for the public to properly dispose of unused or unwanted medications free of charge as funding is available. Contact your local law enforcement to obtain additional information and check availability.
Do Not Flush Medicine
This practice can harm the beneficial bacteria that break down waste in septic systems and wastewater treatment plants. Also, municipal wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove all the ingredients from the medicines in the treatment process. Untreated or partially treated pharmaceuticals are then released into nearby waterways and can impact groundwater.
The proper disposal of pharmaceutical waste continues to be a growing concern across the nation. Pharmaceutical waste includes expired and unused prescription and over-the-counter medications. Many people improperly discard these and other medicines by flushing them down their toilet or sink. It is also important to keep the leftover medications out of the hands of potential abusers, as well as children and pets, who are vulnerable to accidental poisonings.
Missouri State Park Ranger Training
All of our Missouri State Park Rangers have completed training sessions on how to properly administer medication and carry Naloxone (Narcan) in their first aid kits.