CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Thousands of people across the nation had the chance to clean out their cabinets and get rid of their old prescription drug pills.
Local law enforcement agencies across the country partnered up with the Drug Enforcement Agency in a drug-take-back program.
The Charleston Police Department collected 500 pounds of unused prescription pills in last years annual collection day.
Saturday afternoon CPD was approaching 300 pounds of pills.
"That is a really, that is a whole lot. Imagine 150 kilo drug bust that's the volume we're talking about," Sgt. Schelor with CPD said.
He said they had collected a wide variety of pills.
"Some of it may be Bayer aspirin but some of it's OxyContin and Oxycodone too. And everything in between. It's just very important to get these things out of the medicine cabinets out of the glove boxes and into it goes all to get incinerated at the end of the day so it's safely disposed of," Schelor said.
One woman said she had been wanting to get rid of her unused prescriptions for a long time, and was happy she was able to dispose of them in a safe way.
"When you get older they change drugs on you. So you end up with a bottle that you haven't completely finished and you don't know what to do with it," Joyce Boyleston said.
"Putting it in the landfill or putting it in the water system is not good for the environment, but also having it in your house makes it where someone may accidentally take them or somebody might abuse them. Some visitor come and find it and abuse those pills and we're just trying to get it out of circulation," Schelor said.
He said a lot of the people had had these old medicines around the house for a long time, and getting rid of them makes homes safer.
"And when you have pills or fentanyl patches that get abused as well all those kinds of things laying around, some body that wants to make bad use out of it will or alternately somebody goes to take a current pill out of the cabinet and they take the wrong one."
If you weren't able to get rid of your pills in a safe way today, you can still take your drugs elsewhere. There are ten locations in South Carolina, one of which in Charleston.
- The Medical University Public Safety Office in Downtown Charleston
- Plantation Pharmacy, per http://disposemymeds.org/medicine-disposal-locator/
- Horry County Police Department, per http://www.scdhec.gov/HomeAndEnvironment/Recycling/UnwantedMedications/
- Myrtle Beach Police Department, per DHEC