Alton, Texas — According to the 2017 national survey on drug use and health, 6 million Americans misused prescription medication. The Alton Police Department is now implementing an initiative to save lives and protect the environment.

The study shows many individuals that abused prescription drugs, got them from a friend, family member or their medicine cabinet. This morning, Alton chief of police Jonathan Flores unveiled their new permanent prescription drop box that will be located in the lobby of the department.

“It is meant so that our community can come out and dispose of their medication in a safe and anonymous manner.”

Alton Police Chief – Jonathan Flores

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, the misuse of prescription drugs is the second-most common form of drug abuse in America.  

“We are trying to prevent the unused prescription medication from falling into the wrong hands and having people utilize them when they shouldn’t be.”

Alton Police Chief – Jonathan Flores

A non-profit organization, Unidad Coalition, has been working in Hidalgo County with different law enforcement agencies to help them take a proactive approach. 

“Our efforts have been providing resources where people in our community can go and utilize and benefit from it.”

Unidad Coalition

She adds that the coalition’s goal is to encourage the public to properly dispose of their unused and expired medication. 

“We need to make sure that they’re not having medication that is expired or unwanted in their homes. We wanted to provide a location where they can dispose of it in a safe and healthy way and it’s also beneficially for our environment.”

Unidad Coalition

Officials are trying to bring awareness on the proper disposal of prescription medication and encourage the community to use the drop box.