Area drop-off events for unwanted medicines netted nearly 180 pounds of prescription drugs, authorities said.
The April 28 events were part of a national effort coordinated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. According to the DEA, 276 tons of unwanted drugs were collected nationally.
The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office collected about 132 pounds of drugs at its drop-off site at the agency’s North Charleston headquarters, Maj. Jim Brady said. The DEA then took the drugs to be destroyed, he said.
Charleston police hauled in another 47 pounds at its collection point at Mall Park on the peninsula, spokesman Charles Francis said.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets can be diverted, misused and abused, the DEA stated. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.
In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards, authorities said.
The Sheriff’s Office and the DEA plan to hold similar events every few months to address the problem.