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Unwanted, Unused Prescription Meds Collected At Annual Take-Back Day

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds of drugs are now in local police custody. It was all part of National Take-Back Day, where people turned in unwanted or unused prescription medication.

Marcus Washington has details.

For the ninth year, the Drug Enforcement Administration, or DEA, held its annual prescription drug take-back day Saturday morning.

"I had a whole load of drugs that had expired and I thought this would be a wonderful opportunity to get rid of them," said Marilyn Handworker, Ellicott City.

The purpose is to allow people to properly dispose unused or unwanted prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications that are often left in home drug cabinets for years.

"Somebody gets an idea, they break into the house and they steal them and they think that they are really good drugs, but actually they're not," said Diana Weber. "They're for specific reasons like heart conditions, blood pressure. They could end up hurting themselves."

When it comes to prescription drug-related deaths in Maryland, there was a decrease from 2011 to 2012. We saw a slight increase, however, in 2013. Baltimore City and Baltimore County saw the largest number of those deaths.

"It could be fatal," said Bonita Linkins, Howard County Police.

This is the last year the DEA will sponsor the take-back event as new laws have opened collection and disposed responsibilities.

"Drug stores will be more responsible for having the locations for their citizens to bring the drugs to dispose of," said Linkins.

Since 2005, more than 4 million pounds of prescription drugs have been collected and properly disposed.

"Don't let them sit around. You keep looking at them and they collect dust. Somebody gets an idea, they break in the house," Weber said.

There are more than 20 collection sites in our area. In Anne Arundel County, more than 300 pounds of prescription drugs were collected.

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