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Millions of Pills Collected at DEA Take Back Events

Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drug in the United States, after Marijuana, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. They say a majority of teenagers find a supply right in their family’s medicine cabinet.

FREDERICK, Md. - Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drug in the United States, after Marijuana, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. They say a majority of teenagers find a supply right in their family’s medicine cabinet.

“It is a problem it's a continuing problem. It's something the DEA is looking at on a national level very closely, but every local law enforcement agency is encountering, from one degree or another problems with people abusing prescription medications,” said Sgt. John Corbett of the Frederick Police Department.

Since the first-ever drug take back event five years ago, 2.8 million pounds of unwanted prescription medications have been properly disposed of. Locally, during the last initiative back in April, law enforcement agencies collected over 1,200 pounds.

“We're approaching 500 lbs. and we’re in excess of 100 vehicles and we’re just an hour into the event,” says Sgt. Corbett.

The Frederick Police Department and Whitesell Pharmacy partnered up for the take back in Frederick at Harry Grove Stadium. They say the initiative helps fight potential safety and health hazards, and to never flush unwanted drugs down the drain.

“A lot of expired medications actually become dangerous to take. Something as simple as Tylenol can become toxic after its expiration date. In terms of keeping it out of our waterways, the chemicals can hurt fish, aquatic-life, as well as end up back in our water systems,” said Anne Merritt, a pharmacy technician at Whitesell Pharmacy.

“A lot of these medications are just getting out if the homes, out if the streams and we do have burglaries for prescription medications that happen from time to time so just getting this out if the house is one less thing to worry about at home,” said Sgt. Corbett.

People are also encouraged to dispose of unwanted over the counter drugs. The DEA holds two take back events each year.

 



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