(WYMT) - Saturday was a chance for folks in Eastern Kentucky to get rid of their unused or unwanted prescription medications as part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
Prescription drug drop-offs were set up in multiple locations throughout the region from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Police say keeping prescription medications around you that do not need can mean trouble.
"If they know that you have that in your home, they are apt to either break in when you're gone or break in while you're home," said Don Trosper, a trooper with the Kentucky State Police.
Trooper Trosper says that these drop-offs are not just important because they keep the drugs out of the wrong hands, but they are a way for people to get rid of their prescription medications without harming the environment.
"You never want to just throw them in the garbage. You never want to just flush them down the sewer system because then it gets into the groundwater. And you don't want these medications getting into the groundwater and possibly coming back into your drinking water," Trooper Trosper said.
Officials say nearly 43 pounds of prescription pills were disposed into the drop-off at the Laurel County Health Department.
"Everybody who has stopped by has had a sizeable bag or a box or something with them. So I would say that today has been a very successful event," said Christie Schrader, an official with the Laurel County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy.
Kentucky Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo says programs like these are a step in the right direction, but many challenges remain.
"The long range solution is not just enforcement It's not just putting people in jail. We know how to put people in jail. We've got to dedicate ourselves to a treatment program and an education program in this state," Speaker Stumbo said.
He says he doubts adequate funding for such programs would be available in the current fiscal climate.
If you missed today's drug take-back, police say you can still drop off unwanted medications at the London Police Department and at a number of secure locations across the area.