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Indiana To Start Year-Round Drug Disposal Program

The Yellow Jugs Old Drugs program aims to keep people from throwing away old prescriptions, which can cause environmental damage.

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Photo: Alex Dodd (Flickr)

Only 22 counties in Indiana have statewide prescription disposal programs.

The Yellow Jugs Old Drugs program that creates opportunities for people to dispose of unused prescription drugs year-round at participating pharmacies is coming to Indiana.

For many Hoosiers, the only opportunities to get rid of prescriptions is to throw them away, which risks environmental damage, or take advantage of limited drug take back events.

Twenty-two counties don’t have a year round drug disposal location, while 39 have only one.

Chris Angel, is the executive director of Great Lakes Clean Water, which created Yellow Jugs Old Drugs, says that’s where the drug collection program comes in.

Partnering with the state, Angel’s organization sends letter to every pharmacy encouraging them to take part in Yellow Jugs Old Drugs by laying out why the program is so important.

“Clean water is the issue, avoiding potential poisoning by medicines that should be thrown away as well as the issue of illicit drug use or abuse,” Angel says.

The pharmacies just have to sign an agreement with Angel’s organization and they get the yellow jugs sent to them – a process Angel says takes just a few days. He says, seeing how the program has been rolled out in Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin, it’s not just pharmacists who help spread its presence.

“Somebody says to their local pharmacist, ‘I think you should have this program,’ and enough people say that, then the pharmacist gets on board,” he says.

Angel says working with Indiana has been especially easy, in part because the Board of Pharmacy already has rules for drug collection, what Angel calls a “progressive” step that many states haven’t taken.

Click here to find a disposal center near you.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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