Thousands of pounds of drugs collected during national drug 'Take Back Day'

Thousands of pounds of drugs collected during national drug 'Take Back Day'
DEA Drug Take Back Day (photo credit: WLOX)

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Thousands of pounds of prescription drugs were taken off the streets thanks to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It's a bi-annual event, where you help out!

"It takes drugs off the street. It takes them out of homes, out of medicine cabinets where someone could have access to those drugs to be used in an unlawful way," said Wade Barnes. He's the Group Supervisor for the DEA.

Barnes said thousands of pounds of prescription drugs are collected at drug take-back events twice a year across the nation. Just last October in Mississippi alone, crews were able to take 4,000 pounds of drugs off the streets.

"Something that's unwanted or unneeded or expired, instead of flushing it down the toilet, you can drop it off at any of our take-back locations, and it will be incinerated," he added.

DEA officials scoured six locations across the Mississippi Coast this weekend. Barnes said it's in an effort to combat the opioid crisis.

"The ultimate goal in this is to take opioids, hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, scheduled two narcotics that are being abused. Our goal is to take as many of those off the street as we can," Barnes said.

Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury death in the country, according to the DEA. This program allows for the safe disposal of prescription drugs, and it's completely anonymous, "We don't ask names. We don't ask what's in the bottle."

Since this program started in 2010, the DEA has collected nine million pounds of pharmaceuticals.

If you missed out on Saturday's event, check your local police department. Some have year-round drug disposal boxes for residents.

Copyright 2018 WLOX. All rights reserved.