TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – They’re things that you most likely have in your own home, unused prescription medications.
And while you might think they’re harmless, Indiana State Police Sergeant Joe Watts says they can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
“Each year the theft of prescription meds is increasing from private homes,” Watts said. “They’re contacting law enforcement and requesting a report for stolen medications. So we want people to know, hey those medications, don’t let them linger inside your medicine cabinet.”
Watts says the people taking the pills are most likely relatives or people you’ve invited into your home.
That’s why law enforcement agencies across the country are teaming up for a drug take back day.
Watts says it’s easy for people to drop off any kinds of pills or patches with no questions asked.
And says it helps clean up the streets.
“It keeps those medications out of unwanted person, cuts down on the abuse, cuts down on the sale of prescription drugs,” Watts said. “We all know that in the United States prescription drug abuse is at an all-time high.”
Watts says in April Americans turned in close to 450 tons of unused medications.
Those medications then get burned at approved sites.
However, Watts says some people don’t realize there are wrong ways to dispose of them.
“You should not put them in the trash, you never know who’s going to go through your trash once it leaves your home,” Watts said. “You should never throw them in a ditch, or throw them in a wooded area or just discard them in an open landscape area just to get rid of them. Because those will ultimately sink into the soil and contaminate the water areas.”
Watts says year-round drop off boxes at local law enforcement agencies have proved beneficial.
The national drop off day runs Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Watts says that’s when you can drop the drugs off at any State Police Post.
You can check with your local law enforcement agency to see if they’re participating.