Prescription Drug Disposal Program Coming to Indiana

Jul 16, 2014

Credit Great Lakes Clean Water

The Yellow Jug Old Drugs program creates opportunities for people to dispose of unused prescription drugs year-round at participating pharmacies. The program 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 says that’s where Yellow Jug Old Drugs comes in. Angel is the executive director of Great Lakes Clean Water, which created the  drug collection program.

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

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

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. And 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," says Angel, "then the pharmacist gets on board.” 

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.