BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Drugs came in by the bags full to the Biloxi Police Department where more than twice as many people cleaned out their medicine cabinets this year compared to last.
"We collected 10,000 dosage units, and at this point, we've collected at least 20,000 dosages," Sgt. Aldon Helmert said. "So, we've at least doubled what we did last year."
Biloxi Police Department Sgt. Aldon Helmert said the goal is to prevent unused drugs from getting into the wrong hands.
"Over the past several years we have seen an increase in people diverting pharmaceuticals to an illegitimate means," Helmert said.
After the drugs are dropped off, they are boxed up and sealed, and the DEA picks them up and destroys them. Helmert said one of the main reasons the DEA started the 'Take Back' Initiative was to prevent children from having easy access to the drugs."
"Across the country, it's been found that children have been taking these medicines out of the medicine cabinet and taking them to school and sharing them with their friends," Helmert said.
He said having unused drugs in the house can even be dangerous to homeowners.
"We've had incidences where people know other people are prescribed certain meds and people will break into that house and the only thing that will be stolen will be those medications."
Collections like this one, help prevent that from happening.
Helmert said they will continue to participate in the DEA's Take Back Initiative.
In the meantime, he said people who have concerns about medications in their homes, especially controlled substances, are encouraged to contact their police department.