(MOBILE, Ala.) - Local law enforcement collected hundreds of pounds of prescription medications over the weekend during a nationwide drug take back. Mobile Police alone collected nearly 200 pounds of prescription drugs. While this was part of a national campaign, local agencies will collect at anytime in an attempt to keep the drugs out of the wrong hands.
"Let's face it, the biggest thing that people are starting to use now a days are prescription drugs, other people's prescription drugs," said Mobile County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Lori Myles. "It's a huge problem, huge problem."
According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, 1 in 10 teens has tried prescription narcotic OxyContin. Another 1 in 10 has used stimulant Ritalin or Adderall for non-medical purposes. Myles says those stats are a big driver behind drug take back programs.
"Many times we have surgeries. The doctors want us to be comfortable after our surgery so you get written a prescription for pain medicine, you end up not using it, and it sits in your cabinet. You have young adults in your home, other visitors that come in your home. You know, why keep it there if you don't need it," said Myles.
Apparently, there's lots of people who don't need their pills. Saturday alone, Mobile Police collected 198 pounds, the Sheriff's Office collected 118 pound, and Saraland Police picked up 45 pounds.
Dean Holley didn't need some of the medicine prescribed to her after she broke her ankle. She's one of the hundreds who participated in the take back program.
"I don't like to flush 'em down the commode, and I don't like to put 'em down the sink because it might get into the water," said Holley.
A valid concern and yet another reason officials say, it's best just to turn your old pills in to authorities.
"It's a 100% way of knowing that getting rid of these drugs, it's not going to create a health hazard in the future," said Mobile Police spokesperson Ashley Rains.
You can turn in your unused, unwanted drugs 24 hours a day to the Mobile County Sheriff's Office South Side Substation on Highway 90 in Theodore 24 hours a day. Mobile Police will accept them the first Tuesday of every month at its headquarters on Government Street.