Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- Local agencies partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration to help remove unwanted prescription medication from circulation on Saturday.
"I was collecting them from my husband. I had a bag for about two years now, so it was about time," said Linda Mabry.
Over 4,000 organizations, including six in the surrounding areas, helped the DEA collected unused medicine for the National Prescription Drug Take-Back.
"I think it's become a national movement because there is so much of an issue now with prescription drugs being misused and abused," said Debbie Black, a DEA diversion investigator.
More than one million pounds have been disposed of since April 28. However, DEA and law enforcement say this kind of drug abuse is a growing problem.
"Before I retired from the DEA, we were projecting that in a decade or two that pharmaceuticals would replace a bunch of the illegal and illicit drugs," said retired DEA Chief Patrick Clayton of the Richmond County Board of Education.
The DEA takes an eco-friendly approach by incinerating the medications collected so their chemical compositions do not contaminate the air or water.
For some people, the end of these is the beginning of a new journey.
"They dropped off some medication with their young child, and they together put it in the disposal. She had been through chemo, was through with chemo, and it was kind of like a celebratory thing for them," said Laura Knotts, a pharmacist at Parks Pharmacy.
For general public inquiries, such as volunteering or finding a collection site, call 1-800-882-9539. Also, Park Pharmacy has listed the proper techniques for disposing of your unwanted medicine at www.parkspharmacy.com.