Unwanted prescriptions
tip scales at 136 pounds

The amount of prescription drugs turned in at the Drug Take-Back event at the Justice Building on Saturday was the largest amount ever collected by the Rome Police.

The officers took in 136 pounds of unwanted prescription drugs, more than any of the three previous events, said Detective Commander Timothy J. Bates. The drugs have been turned over for disposal to the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

The previous Take-Back event on Oct. 29 brought in 113 pounds of unwanted medications. Before that, 50 pounds were dropped off on April 30, 2011, and then 67 pounds at the first event in September 2010. More Take-Back events are expected.

According to the DEA, the nationwide program was designed to help people safely dispose of their old medications rather than let them fall into the wrong hands.

The DEA said that prescription medication abuse occurs when drug-users steal the meds out of the family medicine cabinet. And when not misused, old drugs are either thrown away or flushed down the toilet, making them a potential environmental health risk.