Posted at: 09/30/2012 8:10 PM
Updated at: 09/30/2012 8:15 PM
Hundreds Show up to Bring Back Old Meds
(ABC 6 NEWS) Prescription drug abuse is a problem across the country. But on Saturday, multiple agencies in our area worked together to fight that problem, by hosting National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at Mayo Clinic.
More than 1200 pounds of prescription drugs were turned in at the event.
"IV medication, we've seen pain pills, we've seen sleep medications, pretty much run the gamut of everything that's out there to include the ones we commonly run into on the streets as police officers, hydrocodone, vicodin, oxycontin," said Rochester Police Officer, Ben Schlag.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, holds the event a few times a year in an effort to safely dispose of unused prescription drugs.
"It helps keep homes safe, helps keep the community safe, and it helps keep the environment clean," said Pharmacist, Denise Nesbitt.
Working with multiple agencies across the country, the hope is to keep the unused drugs out of the wrong hands.
"It takes away the crime of opportunity for people, it's healthier and if we can do this as an alternative option, it'll certainly reduce the tendency for people to have the opportunity to take prescription medication that's not prescribed to them," said Schlag.
And many in the Rochester community agree. Around 550 cars stopped at the clinic to hand in prescription drugs. All were able to remain anonymous.
The drugs were packed in boxes, some weight as much as 38 pounds, placed in a truck where they will be disposed of- to keep homes and the community safe.
"Everybody gets into anything and people are so willing to take something to make themselves feel better or to help their addiction, it could get very serious very quickly," said Nesbitt.
This is the fifth time the DEA has held the event. More than 1.5 million pounds of prescription medications have been handed in through this program.