More than 300 pounds of medication turned in

DOWNEY - More than 325 pounds of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs were collected at a take-back event Saturday outside the Columbia Memorial Space Center.Many potentially dangerous syringes were also collected, authorities said. The event was sponsored by the Downey Police Department, in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and community volunteers. The take-back event is held annually in the United States. Last year, Americans turned in more than 242,000 pounds - 121 tons - of prescription drugs at nearly 4,100 sites. "This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue," local authorities said in a statement. "Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high - more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined...Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including those from the home medicine cabinet."

********** Published: May 5, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 3