Channel 2 News
4:26 PM AKDT, April 28, 2012
On Saturday, hundreds of Alaskans participated in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's fourth nationwide "Drug Take Back Day." DEA officials set up collection stations at various pharmacies around the state for people to drop off their unused and expired prescription drugs.
DEA representatives said the collection is a chance for people to safely and easily dispose of their medications without harming the environment from flushing them down the toilet. The DEA says removing unusable prescription drugs is also a way for people to prevent their children from getting ahold of them. Officials said prescription drugs are misused far more than any illegal substance.
Todd Jones, a DEA Group Supervisor, said each time DEA has organized the event, they have steadily collected more pounds of medications. "The word is getting out there and a lot of people have been looking for this, so we do it twice a year. It's been a very successful program," Jones said.
An Anchorage Fred Meyer site collected over 700 pounds of prescription drugs by the end of the day.
Officials said the drugs will soon be taken to a facility where they will be burned in an incinerator.
The University of Alaska Anchorage and the Anchorage Police Department have permanent prescription drug drop off sites that are open during regular business hours. Members of the DEA say they hope to implement more permanent collection sites so people aren't limited to cleaning out their medicine cabinets just once or twice a year.
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