ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KSNW) — Nearly 600,000 pounds of unused prescription drugs were collected during National Drug Take Back.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says there were 4,675 collection sites nationwide on Oct. 28. Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., they collected a total of 599,897 pounds of unneeded medications.
In Kansas, 5,459 were collected from sites across the state, including 1,568 pounds in Wichita, 584 pounds in Garden City, over 200 pounds in Barton County, and 161 pounds in Topeka. The Kansas City metro area collected 7,340 pounds.
The Drug Take Back event was created to help reduce drug abuse by preventing unused or leftover medications, especially narcotics, from making it into the wrong hands, winding up in landfills, or being flushed down toilets where they can end up in waterways and food and water supplies.
“Drug use prevention is truly a community effort,” says Special Agent in Charge Michael Davis, head of DEA operations in Missouri, Kansas, and southern Illinois, in a news release. “We’re proud to work with our law enforcement partners and community members to collect these drugs. With every prescription pill turned in on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, that’s potentially a life saved.”
According to the DEA, since the program started, law enforcement agencies across the county have collected over 17 million pounds of prescription drugs. In Kansas, nearly 250,000 pounds have been collected as of April’s drug Take Back.
If you missed your local Drug Take Back day, there are several locations where your unused medication can be disposed of year-round. To search for a location near you, click here.
For more information about National Drug Take Back Day, click here.