CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Ask most people how they dispose of their unused or expired prescription drugs and they'll tell you they toss them.
"I throw them in the trash after taking the labels off the bottles. I don't know if it's the best way to do it but I think it's okay," said Marlene Hurst.
The best way is to take them to a location that can incinerate the drugs. However, environmental experts say there's proof many people are still flushing their drugs down the toilet in order to get rid of them and keep them out of the wrong hands.
"Fairly high levels of common pharmaceuticals are coming out of sewage treatment plants," said Richard Gaskins who is the Executive Director of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation.
He's on a mission to encourage people to stop flushing their drugs because it's so difficult to get those low levels of chemicals out of the water when it is treated and becomes part of the system which includes our drinking water.
For more information about a study by the US Geological Survey about the effect of contaminants on fish in area waterways, click here.
The following links may help you with some alternatives for proper disposal of medications: