According to St. Clair County Sheriff Tim Donnellon, over 35 pounds of pills were collected at the Sheriff’s Office collection sites in Port Huron Township and Ira Township. “We are very pleased to see that thousands of unwanted or expired prescription pills will be disposed of properly,” said Sheriff Donnellon. “These pills will be incinerated by the DEA and won’t end up contaminating our water supply or end up in the hands of people abusing the drugs.” 50 pounds of pills were collected at the Sheriff’s Office sites in October of last year. While national numbers aren’t yet available for the latest edition of the Drug Take Back, the October, 2011 initiative saw 188.5 tons of pills turned in at over 5300 sites across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month. Often, some of these medicines languish in the home and are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that the majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from family and friends for free, including from the home medicine cabinet. Many Americans simply do not know how to properly dispose of their unused or expired medicine, often flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away. These methods can pose both safety and environmental hazards. “We will continue to participate in the DEA’s Drug Take Back Day,” said Sheriff Donnellon. “As you can see, this is a problem that won’t be going away. We will continue to assist in any effort to keep these drugs from getting into the wrong hands.” The next Drug Take Back Day is expected to take place this fall.