Prosper Fire to include SUDS program for drug take back

By Aubrey Turner
For the Prosper Press
Envelopes are available in the foyer of the Central Fire Station, located at 1500 W. First Street.

Twice yearly, the Prosper Fire Department collects prescription drugs that are expired or are no longer needed.  This service allows for people to dispose safely of unused medication without it going into wastewater, landfills, etc. 

The Take Back Drugs event allows citizens to ensure that the medication is disposed of in a safe and secure method.

Because of COVID-19, the Fire Department has added additional resources for the community. Some members of the community may be continuing isolation or social distancing and may not feel comfortable driving to a fire station.  Therefore, the implementation of a SUDS (Single Use Disposal System) has been included.  This SUDS program will continue indefinitely.  

“Homebound individuals may find the SUDS program especially important,”  Assistant Fire Chief Shaw Eft said.  “A neighbor, friend, or family member can pick up one or two SUDS envelopes, deliver them to the homebound individual, and then retrieve them for depositing in the mail. It is a service that helps all of us.”

SUDS are self-addressed, postage paid envelopes in which citizens may put their unwanted medications.  These envelopes are taken by the USPS to the location for the destruction of the medications.  Citizens do not need to identify themselves on the envelopes. 

These envelopes are available in the foyer of the Central Fire Station, located at 1500 W. First Street.  This foyer is always open, and citizens are welcome to take as many envelopes as necessary. While leaving personal information is not required, the department requests that Prosper residents fill out the postcards to monitor the success of the program.

“Prosper Fire Department already takes part in a drug take back program that is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Agency,” Eft said.  “We normally take part in this twice a year.  Medications get turned in by the citizens here in Prosper.  Those medications have to be protected by a law enforcement officer while we transport it to the DEA office here in Dallas.  We run into challenges because we only do this twice a year.  Citizens will come up here throughout the year, wanting to turn in medications.  We can not hold those medications until it is time for the Drug Take Back through the DEA.  So when we found out about these envelope program, we thought it would be another opportunity to get rid of unwanted medications they have in their cabinets.  This new SUDS program, with the envelopes, allows citizens to mail in medications any time.”  Eft said.  

“There are instructions within the envelopes,” Eft said.  “They can take the envelopes from the Central Fire station, as many as they want.  They can follow the instructions and mail in the medication.  It keeps the unwanted medications out of people’s cabinets.  There are a few medications that can not be mailed in, so we will continue to work with the DEA twice a year to take back medications as well.”  

“We wanted to offer the citizens of Prosper another opportunity to get this stuff out of their medicine cabinets or sitting on the counters in their houses,” Eft said.  “We want to get these medications completely out of circulation.  A little kid may open a bottle and take something inadvertently, or these medications may get in the wrong hands.  We do not want anyone to have to deal with that.”