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Baltimore City To Host Take-Back Day For Unused Prescription Meds

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Prescription drug crisis. There's a national push to safely and responsibly get rid of extra medicine in your cabinet.

Marcus Washington has more on the push to properly dispose of prescription medication.

Mike Gimbel is a fighter against drugs--often called the "Drug Czar." His mission today is a far cry from the man he was more than 40 years ago.

"I had overdosed numerous times. I took my family broke. I was in a mental hospital. I was in treatment centers. I was running from the law," said Gimbel.

Starting with prescription drugs by age 13 and a full fledged heroin user by the 12th grade, Mike's story is not unique.

"I started taking my father's medication. And I would take anything that had 'may cause drowsiness' on it. And that started me into a 31 year run on struggling with substance abuse," said Thomas Hicks, H.O.P.E. Recovery Community.

Representatives from the Baltimore City Mayor's Office, police department and city council announced their annual Take-Back Day to collect unwanted and unused prescription drugs. You can drop off prescriptions and other medications at 21 locations in the Baltimore area--no questions asked.

Statewide, Maryland saw a drop in prescription drug-related deaths from 2011 to 2012, but a slight increase in 2013. The majority of those deaths were reported in both Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

While very successful, this is the last year the Drug Enforcement Agency will host the national Take-Back Day because of new laws.

"We now have new rules on the books that allow ultimate users to turn in their unwanted and unused prescription medications to a DEA registrar," said Gary Duggle, D.E.A.

"This is critical for us. This is important to our society, this is important to our kids, this is important to our family. And it's part of the crime fight for the streets of Baltimore," said Commissioner Anthony Batts, Baltimore Police Department.

For a list of the prescription drug collection sites near you, click here.

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