The Casper Police Department accepts prescription drugs from people who no longer need them or do not want them to be stolen and used illegally, according to a news release.

"Bottom line, utilizing a drug take-back program like the one we offer 24/seven is the only way to safely discard of prescription and pain-relieving medications,” department spokeswoman Rebekah Ladd said in the news release.

"The time it takes to actually come and drop the medications off far outweighs the risk you’re taking if you keep them in your home or discard of them another way," Ladd said.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 46 people die every day in the United States due to prescription opioid overdoses. Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing drug problem in the country, according to TakeBackYourMeds.Org.

“When unused and expired medications sit around in cabinets they can be easily stolen without the owner’s knowledge,” police evidence technician supervisor Jacci Warne said.

Throwing pain medications in the trash presents an opportunity for them to be found and abused, or for children and pets to find them, according to TakeBackYourMeds.org.

If medications are crushed, there is a risk of exposure through skin contact or by breathing the dust. Crushing also pills can release a dangerously high dose. Medications flushed or poured down a drain can affect aquatic life and contaminate food and water supplies.

To avoid these problems, go to the lobby of the police department, 201 N. David St., at any time and use the container there. It accepts all prescription medications in pill form and over-the-counter pain medications. It does not accept non-pain relief drugs and vitamins, because you can safely discard them in the trash.

To use the program and container:

  • Keep your prescription medications inside their designated bottles. The department encourages you to remove the label before discarding.
  • If you have a large container of medications or loose pills, secure them in individual plastic bags, such as a sandwich bag.
  • Do not deposit large medication containers.
  • Do not discard empty pill bottles, and instead throw away empty pill bottles in the regular trash.

If you have liquid prescription medications or a large number of pills, call the police department at 235-8278 to schedule a time so staff can safely transfer and dispose them.

The police department also offers these recommendations if you use prescription or over-the-counter pain medicines:

  • Keep track of your medications. Would you know if pills were missing?
  • Secure medications as you would other valuables.
  • Put them away after every use.
  • Always discard of expired and unused medications in a timely manner.