DEA event aims to keep pills out of wrong hands

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- An alarming number of teens are raiding medicine cabinets to get high.  Saturday the Drug Enforcement Administration took a step to prevent pills from landing in the wrong hands.

Prescription meds serve a purpose for those who have a prescription, but they can do a lot of damage to children.

"There's a false sense of security in their minds because they think well a doctor wrote the prescription and my parents have been taking this therefore it must be safe," said Randy Longacre from the Community Prevention Coalition.

Kids abusing meds is a growing problem.  

Saturday the DEA collected expired and unwanted drugs for safe disposal.

"If we can get the labels off we take them off we put the empty bottles into another container.  If we cant get the labels off they go right in with the pills and the whole thing is incinerated," Longacre said.

"We brought in medications that just hadn't been used, different drugs that were tried out for different things and a couple of them were expired," said Cheryl Caballero.

Cheryl Caballero used the opportunity to clean out her cabinets.

"They're not good for the land fill and I wouldn't want them go to get into the hands of small children," Caballero said.

According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, each day about 2,500 teens will use prescription meds to get high for the first time.

Joan Lucas recently lost her husband and needed to properly pitch his pills.

"He was taking 33 pills every day so I packed them and I've been carrying them in my van since he passed away," Lucas said.

If you missed the nationwide take back event, you can still contact your local police department for tips to get rid of meds or safely store them.

The last two national take back efforts ended with more than 300 tons of pills collected.