The La Habra Police Department says a recent Prescription Drug Take Back Day netted 175 pounds of unwanted drugs that otherwise could have wound up in landfills, the ocean or in the hands of a drug abuser.
Combined with another Drug Take Back Day in the spring, the department has collected nearly 400 pounds of unwanted drugs.
“The La Habra Police Department is very pleased with the results of our citizens’ participation on this day,” said Sgt. Brian Miller of the Investigation Bureau’s Special Investigations Unit. “Reducing the amount of unused and expired medications is vital in keeping our community safe and healthy.”
La Habra was one of several cities that allowed residents to drop off their unwanted drugs anonymously at the police department headquarters.
The Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a national effort sponsored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
According to the DEA, the Prescription Drug Take Back Day resulted in a little more than 11,000 pounds of drugs being collected countywide.
In a press release on its website, the DEA cites a study that shows non-medical use of controlled substance medications is at an all-time high, with 6.8 million Americans reportedly abusing prescription drugs in 2012.
That same study revealed more than 54 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet, according to a DEA statement.