At two area locations, residents can now safely dispose of medications.

Area residents now have a safe, secure location to drop off unused and unwanted prescription medications to be properly disposed.

Marceline Family Pharmacy and Brookfield’s Green Hills pharmacy both now have a medication drop box.

Pharmacist Tyler Woods said that during the store’s business hours anyone can come and drop off items, which will be picked-up by a contracted company and then incinerated.

Pharmacy Manager Kelly Malloy said that using mediation drop boxes are the safest and most secure way to dispose of medications.

“There is evidence that there can be traces of medications in water systems due to people flushing unwanted and unused medications,” he said.

An article by the U.S. National Library of Medicine through the National Institutes of Health echoed Malloy’s statement about water contamination.

“Recent research suggests that the nation’s water supply is contaminated with trace pharmaceuticals that exert a negative environmental and public health impact. Incorrect medication disposal methods (e.g. flushing medications down the toilet or drain) are a significant factor contributing to the presence of medication compounds in the aquatic environment,” the article stated.

“Disposing of the medications in the trash exposes people to not only safety issues but privacy issues as well,” Malloy stated. “There is a danger of someone getting the medication but also getting personal information that is found on pharmacy labels.”

Audra Carriker, pharmacist at Green Hills Pharmacy, said they obtained a drop-box through a Missouri Board of Pharmacy Grant that includes six liners for the inside of the box. Once those six liners have been used, the grant expires.

The box will be ready for medication disposal at the beginning of 2020.

Medications can be dropped off for disposal at Green Hill Pharmacy, 712 S. Main St., Brookfield, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m., on Saturday.

Marceline Family Pharmacy is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday and is located at 1509 N. Missouri Ave., Marceline. Medications can now be dropped off at any time during business hours.

“These boxes are very important for our area,” Woods noted.

The Marceline and Brookfield drop-boxes are the first in Linn, Macon and Chariton counties, Woods said.

Accepted items include prescription medications, over the counter medications and liquid medication bottles, four ounces or less in a ziplock bag. It is best if items are in their original packaging.

Amber Tornow, R.N., with the Linn County Health Department said the health department has worked with area law enforcement agencies int he past to host a Drug Take Back event and hopes to do so in the future, but noted the more permanent availability provides a much-needed service to area residents.

“These two boxes are the first in the area and really do fill a void,” she said. “By allowing easier proper disposal of medication.”