Drug enforcement agency urges people to drop off leftover prescriptions, opioids

Drug enforcement agency urges people to drop off leftover prescriptions, opioids

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, wants to spread the word about this weekend's Drug Take Back Day.

The program allows people to dispose of leftover prescription drugs, so it doesn't end up stolen or abused.

"It's like a jackpot for maybe some curious teenagers or burglars to see that in your medicine cabinet and go back out there and sell it on the streets," says DEA Supervisory Agent Larry Khansmith.

Take Back Day is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the nationwide effort happens twice a year.

Law enforcement says unused prescriptions is a problem in Hawaii because of the multi-generational homes and growing elderly population. Here in Hawaii, there are drop off locations in every county — those interested in finding drop-off locations can click here.

Leftover pills, especially pain killers are sometimes taken by younger ones in the home and that can have deadly results.

Drug Take Back Day provides a way of disposing the medicines, in an anonymous way. People dropping off the drugs aren't required to provide identification, nor do they need to fill out paperwork, they can just hand over the pills.

"They're very, very thankful because they don't know what to do with it," says Khansmith, "Of course they don't want to dump it in the trash or in the toilet."

Improper disposal can lead to pollution when the end up pills dissolving in streams.

At the drop-off site, the collected pills are sealed in a box, and taken to a location where the boxes are incinerated.

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