Drug take-back event nets record of discarded prescription drugs

(Photo by Bill Tomison, WPRI-TV)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A day of concentrated effort to get expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs off the street – including opioids – netted a record when it came to weight.

The state took part in National Drug Take Back Day on Oct. 28. Rhode Island’s stats included 3,825 pounds of drugs collected; that’s a 50 percent increase over 2016.

Nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) collected a record-setting 912,305 pounds at more than 5,300 collection sites.

Since the fall of 2010, the DEA says it’s collected 9,015,668 pounds – or 4,508 tons – of potentially dangerous drugs.

“By taking dangerous drugs off of our streets, we keep addiction from spreading,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a news release from the Department of Justice.

Authorities encourage disposing of pills at collection sites, such as police stations and drugstores, not just on days reserved for it like Drug Take Back Day, but throughout the year.