Prevent overdose deaths with DEA’s Drug Take Back event

ST. LOUIS, MO- The DEA is hosting its 14th National Drug Take Back event Saturday. There will be several locations in the St. Louis area to drop off unwanted prescription drugs.

In 2016, 64,000 people died from drug overdose. Half were opioid related deaths which include heroin, fentanyl, prescription drugs, and prescription pain killers.

Special Agent Jim Shroba says, “Four out of 5 people that have a heroin addiction began their addiction with drugs they got from the family medicine cabinet.”

That's a big reason why the DEA says unwanted or expired prescriptions drugs need to be taken out of the home and brought to them tomorrow at 62 different area government buildings

“Often times people don’t know why they have prescription drugs any longer. If it’s a prescription drug you want it’s okay. If not, get it out of there, put it in a paper bag, and bring it to us. We'll dispose of it,” explained Shroba.

Law enforcement are seeing more cases of teens and pre-teens experimenting with drugs they find in the medicine cabinet. In your home or their friends’ homes. Because everybody knows where the drugs are stored.

Shroba says, “Go into the bathroom, open cabinet or drawer, and there they are sitting there for anyone to take a few and abuse.”

At the last DEA St. Louis drug take back day in April, 30,000 pounds of pills were collected. Since the program started in 2010, eight million pounds of unwanted or unused prescription have been collected nationwide.

For more information and to find the closest drop off location to you, go to DEA.gov and type in your zip code.