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If you have prescription drugs cluttering your medicine cabinet, yesterday was your opportunity to rid yourself of them. Not only is keeping unnecessary prescription drugs an invitation for abuse, simply throwing your pills down the sink contributes to groundwater pollution. To remedy these problems, the Third Annual Medication Disposal Event was held on the lawn of the state capitol and Lansing-area residents disposed of an estimated $1 million in drugs.

According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, medications that leak into the groundwater don't affect humans but do affect wildlife. This contributes to a huge environmental problem that has the potential to affect humans in the long run. It is also very difficult to treat contaminated groundwater, and the problem often persists.

The pharmaceutical drugs collected at the Third Annual Medication Disposal Event will be sent to Wyoming in Kent County. There they will be incinerated, although state law does not currently allow this. Officials suggest that if you cannot drop your unwanted or unused drugs off, you can also dispose of them by mixing them with Portland cement in a small container such as a coffee can. By mixing drugs with the cement, the compounds are kept from seeping into the groundwater. Remember, prescription drug abuse is a big problem and there is a lot we can do about it!

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