BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport High School students were recently suspended after a video surfaced of what appeared to be prescription pills on campus.
But according to Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Terry Davis, it's a scene that's all too common.
"Whether you're a middle-schooler, or a person that's middle-aged, the accessibility of prescription drugs in this country is rampant," said Davis.
With abusers often obtaining prescription pills from friends and family, illegal pill use has surpassed every other drug; including heroin and cocaine.
"Unfortunately, prescription drugs - and the epidemic and scourge of prescription drugs - has led to more overdose deaths and deaths in general than car accidents," Davis added.
As a result, the DEA is working hard to create opportunities for people to rid their medicine cabinets of unused, or expired pills.
"There are about 5,000 locations across the United States now where you can go drop off your unused and unwanted prescription drugs; no questions asked," said Davis.
The agency holds prescription take-back days twice a year. Public drop-off locations are set up to make it easier for people to dispose of them.
"We don't accept any needles, and we don't accept any liquids of any sort. So, those are the two we stay away from," said Davis.
Residents can drop off pills off in original bottles, and their identity will remain safe. Davis wants to drive home the message that drop-off locations are judgment-free zones.
"Just bring it to us and we'll dispose of it properly. Again, we don't ask any questions. We don't run any checks. We just accept it gladfully, and we'll throw it in the bag. We'll take it off your hands, and that's what we're hoping the general public will be reminded of on this Saturday," said Davis.
If you would like to drop off any old or unused pills, the Gulfport-Biloxi drop off site will be set up outside of Edgewater Mall on Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
For more information on prescription pill abuse, visit www.dea.gov.