Hundreds hand over drugs to sheriff's office

Oseola County take back initiative nets 218 pounds of medications

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - People willingly let the sheriff's office confiscate their drugs on Saturday.  As part of Osceola County's National Take Back Initiative, the sheriff's office took in more than 218 pounds of drugs.

According the a release by the sheriff's office, the event was conducted in conjunction with the DEA and other local law enforcement agencies.

The four hour event was held at four different locations, where anyone could come and turn in unused, unwanted or expired prescription and non-prescription medications.

The program is free and people turning in drugs can do so anonymously.

"This one-day effort brought national attention to the issue of pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse. This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue," said public information officer Twis Lizasuain in a release. 

According to the 2009 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration's National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs.

"Turning in expired, unwanted or unused prescription and non-prescription drugs prevents mistaken use and availability to others such as children or individuals who might discover them. It is also environmentally the safest way for disposal," stated Sheriff Bob Hansell.

Since 2011, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office's participation in the program has resulted in 786 pounds of drugs.

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