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National Initiative Aims to Get Unwanted Prescription Drugs out of Wyandotte Residents' Medicine Cabinets

Unwanted drugs can be turned in from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Police Department.

Unwanted prescription drugs can be turned in legally and safely Saturday through a program jointly sponsored by the city of Wyandotte and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., people can drop off expired and/or unused prescription drugs at the Wyandotte Police Department.

The service is free and anonymous—no questions asked.

The National Take Back Initiative is aimed at preventing pill abuse and theft by ridding homes of potentially dangerous drugs.

More than 7 million Americans currently abuse prescription drugs, according to the DEA. About 2,500 teens use prescription drugs each day to get high for the first time, the DEA said.

This is the fifth national take back event. In the four previous collections, more than a million pounds—almost 800 tons—of pills were turned in.

“The growing response to DEA’s national Take Back Day events demonstrates that the public understands, and wants to help combat, the epidemic of prescription drug abuse in America," DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said in a written statement. "They recognize the need to rid their homes of dangerous controlled substance medications that teens and others steal, abuse, and sell. ... DEA will continue holding these national Take Back Day events as long as they are needed to prevent diversion, addiction, and overdose deaths.”

Four days after the first nationwide event on Sept. 25, 2010, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which allows a medication user to dispose of drugs by delivering them to entities authorized by the U.S. attorney general.

Officials said they hope the program will curb people from flushing drugs down the toilet or throwing them away in the trash, both of which pose potential safety and health hazards.

Mayor Joseph Peterson said DEA officials have told him that the Wyandotte collection is always one of the largest around.

"We are one of the biggest users of this program," Peterson said. "For some reason, all of our people gather up their medicine and bring it back.”

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