Unused prescription drugs collected for Drug Take Back Day

Locally and nationwide, people turned in prescription drugs to make sure they don't end up on the street.

The Drug Enforcement Agency held its National Prescription Drug Take Back Day Saturday. Police nationwide collected hundreds of thousands of pounds of prescription painkillers. The DEA collected nearly 900,000 pounds of unused, expired, or unwanted medicines last year.

Sheryl Clinton cleared out her house’s pills and brought them to the King County Sheriffs Office storefront in White Center. The Greater King County Police Activities League (PAL) helped coordinate the drop-off location.

Clinton brought pain pills from her mother’s recent surgery and expired pills.

“We do have a teenage daughter, so I know she’s not going to take them,” she said. “But who knows who she’s bringing into the house. I don’t want that liability.”

Health officials said getting rid of painkillers is one of the best ways to make sure your family members don’t become addicted to opioids, including heroin. An average of two people in Washington die every day from opioid-related overdoses.

High School senior Karyna Garcia-Marin helped organize this drop-off center through PAL. She said it’s common to see needles on her runs for boxing class.

Executive Director of the King County Sheriffs Office Foundation Jared Karstetter said the location likely pulled tens of thousands of dollars worth of prescription pills out of medicine cabinets and possibly off of the street. 

© 2017 KING-TV


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