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Local police departments collecting unwanted prescription medicines

An unused medication disposal safe is located next to the USAF Hospital Langley pharmacy at Langley Air Force Base, Va., Sept. 23, 2015. Although the safe is unavailable for use at this moment, once it is active, those with access to the installation may properly dispose of unused or unwanted medication, including controlled substances, at the hospital. In the meantime, those in need of properly disposing prescription medication should visit dea.gov for disposal centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubrey White/Released)

An unused medication disposal safe is located next to the USAF Hospital Langley pharmacy at Langley Air Force Base, Va., Sept. 23, 2015. Although the safe is unavailable for use at this moment, once it is active, those with access to the installation may properly dispose of unused or unwanted medication, including controlled substances, at the hospital. In the meantime, those in need of properly disposing prescription medication should visit dea.gov for disposal centers. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Aubrey White/Released)

Jessica Riley, 6th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, counts pills for a prescription refill at the PharmaCARE Center on MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., July 29, 2015. The PharmaCARE Center provides outpatient pharmaceutical care to all beneficiary categories at MacDill. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shandresha Mitchell/Released)

Jessica Riley, 6th Medical Support Squadron pharmacy technician, counts pills for a prescription refill at the PharmaCARE Center on MacDill Air Force Base, Fla., July 29, 2015. The PharmaCARE Center provides outpatient pharmaceutical care to all beneficiary categories at MacDill. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Shandresha Mitchell/Released)

PEORIA, Ill. -- TRICARE enrollees are being offered an easy way to dispose of their expired and unwanted prescription drugs Saturday as part of the Drug Enforcement Agency's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Locations will collect medicine from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in order prevent abuse and environmental contamination. Local sites include the Bartonville, Peoria, Pekin and Peoria Heights Police Departments, and anyone may contribute.

"The presence of unused, unwanted and expired prescription drugs in American homes is a real public safety and health issue," said Dr. George Jones, chief of the Defense Health Agency Pharmacy Operation Division. "Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem, and getting these old drugs out of the home medicine cabinet reduces the chance of abuse or accidental misuse."

Anyone may turn in prescription and over-the-counter tablets and capsules, but intravenous solutions, injectable medications, needles and illegal drugs cannot be accepted.

Americans disposed of approximately 617,000 pounds of prescription medications at more than 5,500 national sites last year.

To find a collection site near you, please visit www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.
(Information was used from a Defense Health Agency news article.)