MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Drug Enforcement Agency revealed the numbers from National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day last Saturday and the haul was staggering.
The DEA said citizens turned in 552,161 pounds, or 276 tons, of unwanted or expired medications for safe disposal. A total of 5,659 sites, including several in South Florida, collected the drugs.
According to the DEA, the four take back days the agency has held since 2010 have collected 1.5 million pounds, or 774 tons, of medication from circulation.
“We are pleased at the response of the American people once again, and we thank them for participating and contributing to the battle against prescription drug abuse,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart, who added that 4,268 agencies participated with DEA nationwide in Saturday’s event.
The take back events have been accelerated as the epidemic of prescription drug abuse, especially among young Americans, continues to grow.
The DEA said more Americans abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined.