LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Authorities will collect and dispose of unwanted and outdated prescription drugs until 2 p.m. Saturday at locations across the region.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is a Drug Enforcement Administration effort to collect medicines that could otherwise end up in the hands of abusers or in waterways and the waste stream, where they can also pose a danger.

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A list of collection sites is available by clicking on the banner at www.dea.gov, then following the links to a database where locations are sorted by ZIP code.

The collection sites are operated by police departments and other agencies. There is no cost for the anonymous service.

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In a 2009 report, the DEA said more Americans abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined, and studies say most of the medications are obtained from family and friends.

Los Angeles area residents have turned in thousands of pounds of prescription drugs at previous Take-Back events.

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