Local residents dispose of unused medications for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Officials from the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration made their presence felt throughout western Massachusetts on Saturday.

The Central High School parking lot in Springfield was one of the dozens of sites in Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties where the DEA Task Force collected thousands of pounds of medications no longer needed.

LIST: Western Massachusetts locations for National prescription drug take-back day

Unused prescription drugs left in the medicine cabinet have been known to fall into the wrong hands endangering young lives.

Because of protocol, the DEA Task Force member speaking with 22News had to remain anonymous.

“We don’t want any of the drugs going into the sewage, we don’t want them falling into the wrong hands,” said the DEA agent. “It’s bad for the environment. This is a service that’s provided and it also gets others in the community to support the DEA.”

Over the years these DEA medication removal operations have yielded hundreds of tons of prescription medication that patients no longer needed but which otherwise could have ended up on the black market creating or feeding a drug addiction.

A recent study revealed that nearly 10 million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The DEA Task Force believes Saturday’s drug drop-off helps remove that deadly incentive.

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