The latest National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was the most successful yet, resulting in 780,158 pounds of prescription pills collected across the country on April 26.
The event included 6,072 collection sites. It was sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and more than 4,000 state, local and tribal law enforcement partners.
In total, the eight Take-Back Days held since 2010 have collected 4.1 million pounds of prescription drugs.
"DEA's National Prescription Drug Take-Back events provide an obviously needed and valued service to the public, while also reducing prescription drug abuse and trafficking," DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said in a news release. "By taking these medications off their hands, our citizens know they have made their own families and communities safer. We continue to work toward making the process for disposing of controlled substance medications by users and their caregivers even easier by creating regulations that will enable the public to regularly, safely, and conveniently dispose of such medicines when they are no longer needed or wanted."
Approximately 6.8 million Americans reported having abused prescription medications in 2012, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. More than half of people who abuse prescription pain relievers say they obtained them through relatives or friends, including raiding the family medicine cabinet.
The DEA hopes people will drop off prescription medicines during Take-Back Days instead of flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash.