National Prescription Drug Take Back day “good step” in fighting opioid crisis

WAFF AM 6:30-7:00am - VOD - clipped version

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Saturday is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, there will be several places around the Tennessee Valley to easily drop off left over prescription drugs.

United States Attorney Jay Town said prescription drugs sitting and gathering dust in your medicine cabinet can be more dangerous than you think.

“Frankly, what we have is a loaded gun in our medicine cabinets, and it has a hair trigger and has no safety," Town said. “Most of us have these extra pills, these extra bottles of pills.”

Town said these extra pills can be a big contributor to the opioid crisis.

“The DEA administrator estimated a couple of years ago that 80% of those who are addicted to opioids currently started their opioid addiction by the use of prescription narcotics,” he said.

Clay Morris with the DEA said this is the 9th year for drug take back collections. Over that time, Morris said the DEA has collected more than 12 million pounds of prescription drugs.

“We’ve got to remove that, we’ve got to get those out of supplies," Morris said. “I tell people all the time I’ve never met a heroin trafficker that didn’t have a pill problem. The cycle of addiction most commonly starts with prescription pills."

Town said it’s important to encourage your friends and family to participate in the drug take back day. He said it is good to remember your house might be clean of leftover pills but the house your teen hangs out at may not be.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be happening across the state this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To find the closest drug take back location to you just plug your zip code into the collection site locator on the DEA website.

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