State finds $300K for prescription med disposal

May 7, 2015
Prescription take-back in Colorado
All these medications were disposed of in one of the DEA-sponsored medication take-back days in Colorado.

Colorado lawmakers have found $300,000 to continue a prescription medication disposal program, part of the state's $25 billion budget.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will use the money to dispose of unwanted medications collected through drop boxes at local law enforcement agencies. 

Health officials say that's critical to fighting the abuse of prescription drugs after the federal Drug Enforcement Agency stopped paying for disposal last year. 

“In Colorado alone, more than 50 million prescriptions are written each year and dispensed," said program coordinator Greg Fabisiak. "And there are some estimates that say that as much as 40 percent of those dispensed prescription drugs go unused.”

A recent study found the state ranked 12th in the nation for abuse of opioid painkillers.