Nationally, it's been reported that four out of ten teenagers admit to stealing prescription drugs out of the medicine cabinet to either use or sell. A lot of the time, these prescription drugs are expired and that's why teenagers are able to get their hands on them.
On the flip side, it's estimated that, 40 billion prescriptions are written each year. Of those, one-third of them are thrown-out most likely flushed down the toilet or in the trash; which can be harmful to our water supply. So there's an environmental concern with expired medicine and the possibility that someone will get a hold of these drugs and abuse them.
"In my prior career, I worked fatalities of teenagers that had overdosed on family memberís medication, fatalities, not just overdoses, but people died," says Dale Seago, with the Palmer Drug Abuse Program.
Anytime there's availability of any kind of drug, there's the potential for abuse.
"And, young people unfortunately don't make some of the best choices sometimes," explains Seago.
In order to prevent this type of temptation, the Midland Drug Coalition is asking that you get rid of your unused or expired medications. This week, the coalition is collecting your medicines at the Midland Medical Center Pharmacy. All prescription and over the counter meds will be accepted.
"But we can't take IVs, oxygen tanks or syringes," says Seago.
Another group that's asking West Texans not to flush their medication or dump it in the trash is Keep Midland Beautiful.
"The water supplies around the country, some of them have been tested and there are prescription drugs in them," says Doreen Richardson with Keep Midland Beautiful.
Itís not clear what the long term effect of this exposure could be, especially on children.
"There's also concern of what the effect of all the combination of all these different drugs will be," explains Richardson.
So if you plan on saving our water this weekend, make sure you bring your old meds in their container. "Because, we will take those bottles and recycle them," says Richardson.
Again the pick-up site is at the Midland Medical Center Pharmacy. Collection starts at 10 in the morning and you don't even have to get out of your car! This is a free event. Your name will not be linked to the drugs you drop off; your identity will be protected.