You’ve probably heard about how more and more prescription drugs are being found in the water supply. The government made some noises about how people need to be more careful about disposing of prescription drugs.
However, it turns out that the DEA (and their continued desire to make medicine a law enforcement issue) could be largely to blame.
North Memorial Medical Center pours 50 gallons of controlled substances into its drains annually rather than pay $25,000 to handle and haul it away for safer disposal, says regulated waste coordinator Jerry Fink.
Part of the cost is due to federal rules that state anyone who handles controlled substances, other than a user, must be certified as a police officer or registered with the DEA. That goes for pharmacists, distributors, even waste handlers.