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National Prescription Drug Take Back Day helping to prevent growing problem in the Capital Region
GUILDERLAND -- It's the hidden danger hiding in your cabinets, prescription pills. Any unwanted or expired medications left lying around, could lie in the wrong hands. Which is why, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010, more than 38,000 people died from a drug overdose in the United States.
Most of those cases were related to prescription drugs, and the DEA says here in the Capital Region it's an epidemic.
"Twice the amount of people according to the 2012 national drug survey are addicted to prescription drugs as they are inhalants,hallucinogens, cocaine, and meth combined," says James Burns with the DEA Albany district office.
They tell us that in this area there has been a tremendous increase in the last five years. So every six months, they put on National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Saturday they were at dozens of locations around the region. It's at sites like these that all prescription pills are disposed of properly so that they do not end up in the hands of drug dealers on the streets or in our local water sources, it's free and completely anonymous.
"We'll take them to an undisclosed incinerator and they'll be properly burned and disposed of," Burns tells us.
So far, it's been a success. In the six previous take backs for the Capital Region, they've taken almost 22,000 pounds of prescription drugs off the streets.
but more importantly out of our drinking water.
"Steroids and hormonal based prescription drugs have shown up in the water supply during tests, so they can be very harmful to the environment and to people," Burns says.
If you have any unwanted medications and couldn't make it out to Saturday's event, you can bring it to a local state troopers headquarters. They accept medications on a continual basis.
Drop off locations can be found at: http://www.troopers.ny.gov