Wastewater Effluent Hydrocodone Concentrations as an Indicator of Drug Disposal Program Success
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Drug disposal programs have been seen as a remedy to the concern of environmental contamination resulting from pharmaceutical disposal down the toilet or sink; however a thorough review of peer-reviewed literature and publicly available information on these programs indicates limited research has been conducted to validate the effectiveness of these programs at reducing pharmaceuticals in the environment. The purpose of this research was to determine if drug disposal programs could actually reduce pharmaceutical residues in the environment. The concentration of hydrocodone in wastewater effluent released from a wastewater treatment plant in Denton, Texas was monitored before and after a take back program called Denton Drug Disposal Day (D4). Data collected and analyzed suggests D4 events were successful in contributing to a reduction of pharmaceutical loading to the environment; however there was insufficient evidence to demonstrate that D4 events were exclusively responsible for these improvements.
KeywordsHydrocodone Drug disposal program Pharmaceutical contamination
The authors would like to express gratitude to The University of North Texas, the City of Denton, Denton Regional Medical Center, and the North Texas Poison Control Network for their help with this project.
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