Prescription drug abuse is a growing concern in Idaho, as one in five Idaho teens admits to taking prescription medication--without a prescription.
Local officials did their part Saturday to help get unused medications off the streets. The D.E.A. Drug Take-Back Day is a national event, and cities across the Treasure Valley joined in to host locations where people could drop off their unused prescription medications.
Donations ranged from prescription pain-killers like Vicodin and Hydrocodone to simple over-the-counter cold medicine.
The Ada County Sheriff’s Office predicts they collected around 2,000 pounds of pills from Saturday’s event.
A recent survey shows Idaho ranks fourth in the nation for misuse of prescription pain-relievers. About 70 percent of those people get their pills from friends or family members.
Lauren Hooker from the Ada County Sheriff’s Office explained: “The whole point of the take-back is for people to have a place to take their unused or expired prescription medicines, so that it doesn’t get back into the community.”
Lauren said that doctors prescribe medicine to patients who need it, and she reminded folks that it is illegal to give that medication to someone else when a patient no longer needs it.
The Ada County Sheriff’s Office will hold another drug-take back event in the spring.
Unused medications can also be brought year-round to the Ada County Sheriff's Office. The service is provided Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.