Gordon Donnalley, of Cabool, and his daughter, Ella, drop off a bag of unwanted prescription drugs at last year's drug take-back event at Walmart in Houston. Working the event are Houston Police Chief Jim McNiell and deputy Melissa Emerick of the Texas County Sheriff's Department.

A pharmaceutical take-back event Saturday at Houston Walmart Supercenter shattered previous records. A whopping 456 pounds of pharmaceutical drugs were collected during the year and at a collection point.

The record figure includes both items collected Saturday and others taken in during the year via a specially designed metal box in the Texas County Jail foyer.

Event organizers – the Texas County Sheriff’s Department, the Houston Police Department and the Big Piney River Stream Team Watershed Association – were pleased that so many residents were able to dispose of unwanted drugs in a safe fashion through the DEA program. Pharmaceutical drugs left in unlocked cabinets invite theft and misuse. Flushing or disposing unwanted drugs into the garbage results in those drugs finding their way into waterways and aquifer. The only current acceptable disposal of pharmaceutical drugs is high heat incineration.

The metal drop box at the jail was designed, fabricated and donated by the Durham Co. of Houston. Lettering was donated by Signs on the Side, another Houston company. Some items can’t be left in the receptacle: illegal drugs, needles and sharps, syringes, thermometers, IV bags and tubing, bloody or infectious waste, personal care products, empty containers, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans and inhalers. 

The jail lobby is open daily for pharmaceutical drug disposal in a safe and monitored environment. No signatures are required to use the box, and no questions are asked.

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