LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Prescription drugs and medications of all types were surrendered safely in Saturday’s nationwide “Take-Back” initiative.

Bins were provided at Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside county sheriff’s stations for people to turn in expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction.

The free service by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is anonymous.

“Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse,” the DEA said. “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the Unites States are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.”

The DEA says that people should not simply throw away medicines or flush them down toilets.

(©2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)


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