Close to 260 pounds of prescription and over-the-counter medications were collected Saturday at a take-back event held in Rolla Saturday.
The Rolla Police Department and Prevention Consultants of Missouri partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for its national take-back program.
A total of 258 pounds of medications were collected at the First Presbyterian Church parking lot in Rolla. That amounted to six 35-gallon trash bags, two 30-gallon clear trash bags and 10 large boxes.
Sgt. Wayne Rapier, of the RPD, said the amount collected Saturday is the largest that the RPD has received since it began partnering to host the program.
“In the past, we’ve usually done this about every six months and this was the fourth time we’ve done it,” Rapier said. At past take-back events, Rapier said about 85 to 100 pounds usually were taken back at a time.
The items accepted included old and expired medicines — such as old prenatal vitamins — to be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner.
The RPD on Monday turned the collected medications over to the DEA for proper disposal.
Drug take-back events are designed to safely discard old and expired medicines and eliminate the chance of accidental ingestion or abuse by an unprescribed individual.
Usual methods for disposing of unused medicines such as flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds or 276 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners.
In its four previous take-back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds or nearly 775 tons of pills.