Safely get rid of prescription drugs Saturday during National Drug Take Back Day

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(Source: CBS News) (Source: CBS News)

The DEA will be hosting its 14th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nearly 5,000 sites will be set up across the country to collect unwanted, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs for safe disposal. Sites will be set up throughout communities so locals can anonymously return the drugs. The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles, or sharps.

During the last 13 Take Back events the DEA collected over 8.1 million pounds or 4,050 tons of drugs. In Arizona alone, over 121,143 pounds, or 60 tons, were collected.

[RESOURCE: Arizona collection sites (as of Oct. 25)Find a collection site near you]

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as well as the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Prescriptions drugs are obtained by abusers through family and friends, as well as from the medicine cabinets at their homes. Some people do not know how to properly dispose of unused medicine, often choosing to flush them down the toilet or throw them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

[RELATED: You don't have to wait for 'National Drug Take Back Day' to turn in old pills]

[ONLINE: 14th Nationa Prescription Drug Take Back Day]

“Every Arizonan can prevent the potential onset of addiction from within their own homes and impact the supply of excess prescription drugs diverted to the illicit drug market by participating in DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back,” said DEA Phoenix Special Agent in Charge Doug Coleman. “The DEA will continue to work with communities to curb the opioid epidemic and target the cartels profiting from the weakness of others, but we must begin with reducing the supply of excess prescription drugs.”

Collection sites can be found at www.dea.gov with new locations being added regularly. 

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