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Fifty percent more pills were collected during the latest National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, compared with the previous event in 2012, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced.

The agency said 742,497 pounds of prescription medications were collected from almost 6,000 sites around the country on April 27, UPI reports. More than 2.8 million pounds of prescription medications have been removed from circulation during the six national take-back days the DEA has sponsored.

The events are designed to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way for people to dispose of their unwanted or expired medications, while educating the public about the potential for abuse of prescription drugs.

According to the 2011 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health, twice as many Americans regularly abused prescription drugs than the number of those who regularly used cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, the DEA noted in a news release. More than 70 percent of people abusing prescription pain relievers say they obtained them through friends or relatives, including the family medicine cabinet.


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