(WAFB) - The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and their partners have now collected almost 12 million pounds of unused, unwanted, or expired drugs over 17 events.
During 2019′s event, the DEA saw new records for the numbers of law enforcement partners and collection sites.
The DEA’s New Orleans Field Division, which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas, collected 45,672 pounds of prescription medications at various collection sites. In Louisiana, people turned in 7,046 pounds of drugs.
“Prescription medications often end up in the wrong hands, feeding an epidemic that is killing 130 people a day. It’s absolutely critical that we all do our part in getting unwanted and expired drugs our of our homes and dispose of them safely at these Drug Take Back events. Residents in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas took an important step in reducing the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse by turning in over 45,000 pounds of medications. DEA thanks the citizens in the four-state region - including our federal, state, and local law enforcement and community partners - for their overwhelming support in this effort to keep these drugs our of the wrong hands,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Brad L. Byerley.
The goal each year is to get rid of expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs in the hopes they will not end up in the wrong hands.
Experts say opioid addiction often starts from family members stealing medication from medicine cabinets inside homes where someone was issued a prescription.
“Despite our best intentions, our medicine cabinets can quickly become overstocked and, in some situations, can provide a pathway to addiction,” U.S. Attorney Fremin said. “This program provides ordinary citizens an excellent opportunity to anonymously and properly dispose of unwanted prescription drugs with no questions asked.”