The Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office is rolling out an innovative program to help rid the community of unused and expired medications, which are a leading source of accidental poisonings and addiction.

"This program allows community members to safely mail in unused or expired medications for proper disposal," said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen. "Fire departments are in the heart of our neighborhoods where people can easily access this program and Harris County Commissioner's offices are also helping pass out takeaway envelopes at events and placing boxes where people need them most. There is no cost to the community or participating departments. We know this program will save lives and help protect the environment, which is why we wanted to be involved.”

Atascocita fire stations have located easily identifiable boxes on the outside of each station filled with special mail-in envelopes. To use the program, simply stop by any participating location and obtain a takeaway envelope. Remove the postcard from inside the envelope and answer the questions. Place any medications you wish to dispose of inside the envelope. Seal the envelope and drop off the envelope and postcard in your mailbox or at the post office. The pre-paid envelopes are sent to a DEA-registered reverse distributor and collector for proper disposal.

This project is funded through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration through Texas Health and Human Services to the University of Houston College of Pharmacy-Department of Pharmaceutical Health Outcomes and Policy and meets all requirements of the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010.

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