Nearly 500 lbs of medication brought in during Drug Take Back Da - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Nearly 500 lbs of medication brought in during Drug Take Back Day in Cape Girardeau

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

Police say prescription drug abuse is a growing problem nationwide and the Heartland is no exception.

That is why local law enforcement and volunteers teamed up to for National Drug Take Back Day.

People could come to drop off locations in Cape Girardeau, Jackson and other Heartland cities to get rid of their unused prescription medicines.

Police say the event helps keep prescription drugs from getting in the wrong hands.

Data shows one in five youths have abuse prescription drugs in their lifetime.

Police say that is why events like these are so important.

"It's a nationwide epidemic, not just Cape and Jackson. I mean, it's something that happens all over the country where prescription drugs are being used for, you know depending on the type of drugs, because it's easy to get a hold of," said Corp. Rick Whitaker.

According to law enforcement, Cape Girardeau's total weight of prescription medication brought in was 449 pounds. Jackson's total weight was 235 pounds.

In Union County, Illinois, boxes were filled with prescriptions, pills and other medicines residents had dropped off. Police had collected 45 pounds of medications by 1 p.m. They were well on their way to meeting last year's county goal of 60 pounds by 2 p.m.

In case you missed the event, and have some unused prescription medications to get rid of, you can drop them off at the drug drop box at your local police department any day of the week.

Copyright 2014 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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