BURBANK (CBSLA) — Bag after bag of pills were dropped off at the Burbank Police Department Saturday, part of the DEA’s nationwide drug take back program. The goal is to curb opioid addiction by getting the drugs out of people’s homes.
“There are so many people who are already on drugs,” Adrineh Mkrtchyan said. “We don’t need to contribute to their shortcomings.”
The Drug take back happens twice a year, the last time, in April, they collected upwards of 30,000 pounds in Southern California alone. The nationwide statistics are even more staggering – 900,000 pounds collected from 5,500 sites across the US. Aida Merrill brought a bag of pills to the take back, she says they helped keep her father comfortable at the end of his life, but she doesn’t want them falling into the wrong hands now.
“I know that there were some narcotics there and I don’t want that to end up hurting somebody or just in the hands of children or teenagers and this is a great way to dispose of all that,” Aida Merrill said.
And There really isn’t a good way for people to dispose of medication on their own, that’s why these drug take back programs are so important. Flushing medication down the toilet is bad for the environment and the DEA says getting that medication out of homes actually does prevent addiction.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The DEA says they’re concerned about individuals getting a hold of medications that are addictive and don’t belong to them.
The thousands of pounds of medication collected Saturday will be taken back to a DEA facility and incinerated.