The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration estimates 7-million Americans abuse prescription drugs. Locally, an effort involving the Madison County Sheriff's Department is being unveiled. The department has placed a permanent and secure drop box in its lobby to collect unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medication.
Among abusers over the age of 12, research shows 70% obtain the drugs from friends and family members. Lieutenant Gale Becker says the collection box is not meant for illicit drugs, such as marijuana, heroin, intra-venous solutions, injectables and syringes.
He says the idea for a permanent drop box came after being involved in a couple of National Drug Take Back events sponsored by the DEA. It is estimated more than 4,000 young adults and children have their first experiment with prescription drugs every day.