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Local officials take steps to get unused prescription pills out of households

Posted at 5:16 PM, Oct 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-02 19:20:13-04

Forty-six people die every day from overdoses involving prescription pills, according to the CDC.

Almost every family has had at least one bottle of prescription pills sitting in their medicine cabinet, at one point or another.

The San Patricio County Sheriff says keeping old prescription pills can pose a huge hazard for the children and teens in your home.

"What a lot of people don't understand is that a lot of these kids will take pills from their parents and take them to a party and dump them in a bowl and they'll take one or two or three as a game," said Rivera.

Just stopping by a friend’s house, Rivera says he found over 4 dozen prescription bottles sitting on this family’s bathroom shelf, not being used for any medical reasons.

"We were talking about how many prescription drugs he had like ‘oh my gosh you keep all this stuff at home’ what can you do with it," said Rivera.

Rivera says to ask yourself these questions.

"When's the last time you made a pill count?"

"How do you live with yourself when a child overdoses with the pills that you left behind?"

Now, Rivera is trying to spread the word about the medicine dispenser in the San Patricio County Sheriff's office lobby.

It's where people can go and dispose of any number of unused pills, no questions asked.

"And the DEA comes over here periodically and it's gone," said Rivera.

Getting rid of pills using the dispenser is safer than flushing them according to Rivera, that way they don't end up in our water system.

More importantly, they don't end up in anyone's system.

"We see more and more young people coming to jail and it starts from abuse, us as parents not realizing that we're sometimes the problem we have things at home that we don't realize that could cause some problems to our young ones," said Rivera.