PERRY Co., Ky. (WYMT) - Operation UNITE and several local police departments teamed up this weekend to get more than one ton of medicine off the streets.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is only seven years old, but is seeing progress year after year.
Operation UNITE's President Dan Smoot said prescription drugs are just as dangerous as cocaine or heroine.
"It's that old adage that if it came from my doctor it must be safe," said Smoot. "Of course we've learned through addiction that just simply isn't true."
Operation UNITE racked up more than 2,000 pounds of medicine during the annual event.
With 41 permanent drop-box sites in more than 30 counties Smoot said this initiative is crucial.
"What we need to keep in mind is each day we have 50 people die of prescription pill overdoses and it's imperative that we get them out of homes and destroyed," Smoot said.
The four hour-long drug take-back event collected both over-the-counter and prescription medicine.
"In the past many people didn't want to flush them because of the environmental concerns and quite frankly, didn't know what to do with them," said Smoot.
The 2,000 pounds collected at the sites does not include what was dropped off at other state police posts.
Smoot said getting the drugs out the home can curb a lot of heartache down the road.
He also added, "The first encounter for most of our youth who experiment with drugs is through their medicine cabinet."
Dropping off the medicine with no questions, Smoot said, helps the program stay successful.
"This gives them a safe option to take it down to their local police department or sheriff's office," Smoot said.
He said these drop-box sites are one more tool to keep drugs out of the wrong hands.
Smoot also commented on the Food and Drug Administration's new recommended restrictions on drugs containing the narcotic hydrocodone.
He said there is no question this will help our region.