Police departments collecting old, unused pills for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

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According to the DEA, most misused prescription drugs are taken from family or friends' medicine cabinets

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(WKBN) – Police departments across the country are getting ready for the Drug Enforcement Administration’s 20th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day this weekend.

Americans are encouraged to dispose of any expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications at select drop-off locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The DEA and its partners will collect tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms.

They will also accept vape pens or other e-cigarette devices from individual consumers, only after the batteries are removed from the devices. If the battery cannot be removed, individual consumers can check with large electronic chain stores who may accept the vape pen or e-cigarette devices for proper disposal.

Liquids, including intravenous solutions and syringes, and illegal drugs cannot be dropped off.

The service is free and anonymous.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers, 4.9 million people misused prescription stimulants and 5.9 million people misused prescription tranquilizers and sedatives in 2019.

According to the DEA, most misused prescription drugs were taken from family or friends’ medicine cabinets.

The New Castle Police Department said disposing of prescription drugs properly keeps them from falling into the wrong hands and being inappropriately distributed.

Flushing medications can also pollute groundwater, so this alternative method helps the environment, according to the police department.

During last year’s National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in October, 985,392 pounds of prescription drugs were collected at 4,587 locations.

The DEA reported 59,455 pounds of prescription drugs collected during the event in Ohio last year.

There were 4,153 law enforcement agencies who participated last year and many local ones are once again taking part in the event.

For more information on DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, and to find a collection site near you, visit www.deatakeback.com.

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