By: Kayla Bremer
Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S. according to the Center for Disease Control. To help end the abuse, drop–off sites around the state were set up to collect the prescription drugs you have sitting around your house.
There were drop–off sites at seven pharmacies here in Lincoln. Since the drug take back effort started, nearly 15,000 pounds of drugs have been collected statewide.
According to the C.D.C., 7 million Americans aged 12 and older abuse prescription drugs for non–medical purposes each month.
A national survey revealed that everyday, 2,500 of them use prescription drugs to get high for the first time.
"The scary part is 2 out of every 5 think since they are prescription drugs they're safe and they won't get addicted to them and that's just not the case," Take-back Coordinator Anita Scheuler said.
Drug take–back was started so people could dispose of their unused medications properly.
Lincoln Neighborhood Pharmacy teamed up with Guardian Angels Homecare to be one of the drop off sites. This is their second time with the event and they say it's been a big success.
"Sometimes people have medications just stocking up for years and we've just got to let those people know that they can be harmful and there's correct ways of getting rid of them with no questions asked," Pharmacist Blake Henning said.
Henning says people can bring any unused medications and simply hand them off to a law enforcement officer at one of the sites. The D.E.A. and law enforcement then dispose of the drugs by incineration.
Scheuler says people shouldn't flush their med's because it can affect our ground water.
"They're out of the house. They're not available for their children to get into and other people to get into," Scheuler said. "It's just a safe way to get rid of those drugs."
There will be another drug take–back day in the spring. They say they should know the total amount of prescriptions collected by Tuesday.