Old Drugs? Put Them In Yellow Jugs

Posted On July 16, 2014

By Kelcey Mucker

(Undated) – Keeping prescription medications out of Indiana’s waterways is the objective of a new program centered around a jug of a certain color.

Started by the Great Lakes Clean Water Organization in 2008, the Yellow Jugs Old Drugs Programs partners with local pharmacies and the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force to provide secure and responsible drug disposal.

While there are only limited opportunities to properly dispose of unused pills, that is changing. Consumers can now take their unwanted medication to pharmacies to reduce the amount of chemicals that are showing up in water.

Pharmacies in Indiana will be receiving a letter encouraging them to join the program.

Data shows that 71 percent of people misusing prescriptions obtain them from friends or relatives. About 78,000 children under five years of age are treated for poisoning in hospital emergency rooms and around 30 children under age five die as a result unintentional poisoning in the U.S. each year.

“Prescription drug abuse is a rampant problem in our state, and as co-chair of the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force I recognize the need for increased disposal locations and the Yellow Jugs Old Drugs Program helps address this shortage,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said. “Proper disposal of unused medicine spans a broad range of issues including public and environmental health, water quality, solid waste management, law enforcement, and the health care industry.”

“Yellow Jugs Old Drugs Program not only decreases the volume of expired or unused prescription drugs in our medicine cabinets, it could also have a beneficial impact on the environment and the states fresh water supply,” said Thomas Easterly, Commissioner of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.