Posted By: Camila Orti
Hundreds of pounds of old prescriptions were collected Saturday as part of the 7th National Drug Take Back Day.
Organizers say this year's efforts resulted in record-breaking numbers for Lancaster County.
"I think today, from what I've heard, has been a big, big day for the collection," Dan King with the Lancaster County Health Department said.
Between the 12 collection sites around town, 87 boxes and more than 1,700 lbs of old prescription drugs were collected in Lincoln- more than three times the amount collected in April.
Volunteers at the 70th and Pioneers Walgreens say they filled ten boxes within the first hour. The collection sites were open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. for free and anonymous disposal of expired or unused prescription medications.
Drug Take Back Days happen twice each year. Organizers say the goal is to get potentially dangerous prescriptions out of medicine cabinets before they can be abused.
Kelly Madcharo, director of the School Community Intervention and Prevention (SCIP) Program, says prescription drug abuse is becoming more common.
"It's the second most abused category of drugs after marijuana with teenagers," Madcharo said.
Madcharo has been helping with Drug Take Back Days for three years, and says more and more teens are getting their hands on prescriptions to get high.
"Accessibility is, I think, part of it," Madcharo said.
The Health Dept. says increased advertising was a big contributor to Saturday's success.
If you missed the memo, most pharmacies will take old over–the–counter medications and non–controlled prescriptions any time.
The next Drug Take Back Day will be sometime in the Spring.