EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse are underway across the country.
Twice a year, law enforcement agencies come together to provide a way for the public to properly get rid of their unwanted prescription medications.
The DEA will host its next "Take Back Day' on Saturday.
For many, it's a bad habit forgetting to dispose of unwanted and unused medication.
DEA Agent in Charge Jeff Kennemer, out of the Tyler resident office says keeping medication you no longer need is a safety hazard.
"The medicine left around can be stolen or accidentally taken again, and can lead to an overdose," said Agent Kennemer
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that a majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.
In many cases, stolen from others' home medicine cabinet.
"There is a lot of medicine in offices and homes that can get into the wrong hands," said Agent Kennemer.
To prevent any tragedy from happening, twice a year the DEA partners up with local law enforcement to host a 'Take Back Day'.
During these events, drop-off locations are set up around towns.
The public is invited to drop off any medication they no longer want, with no questions asked.
Elaine Beals of Tyler says she has plenty of expired medication just wants to toss out.
"The aspirin was way expired, and so I went to buy new stuff and then I said 'what am I going to do with the old stuff,'" said Beals.
Beals says as soon as she heard about the event happening on April 28th she started to gather all her unwanted medication.
"I had a medication that I no longer had to take, and my doctor said they couldn't take them back to dispose of them," said Beals,
Agent Kennemer says these events are the best solution to disposing of medications.
"The old methods of flushing it or throwing it away in the trash are not safe," said Agent Kennemer. "That can lead to safety issues, we don't want that in our water system.
The only things that won't be accepted are needles, inhalers, and IV fluid bags.
The public can leave the labels on the bottles, once you turn them in at the drop-off location they are placed in a zipped bag and not reopened.
"It's going to be transported to a destruction site and be compete destroyed," said Agent Kennemer.
According to the DEA, Americans turned in over 900 thousand pounds of prescription drugs last fall.
The next National Drug Take Dack event is this Saturday at 10 a.m.
To find a drop-off location near you click here.