Billings, Montana – An opportunity to get rid of outdated prescriptions was offered by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration in an attempt to reduce the number of fatalities, overdoses, and addictions.
On Saturday, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), local law enforcement, and the Elks Lodge held a National Prescription Drug Take Back event in the parking lot of the Elks Lodge.
They gathered outdated prescriptions in order to keep them out of the hands of those who would misuse them, as well as to benefit the environment.
A national effort is taking place, and the collection in Billings has been going on for almost 15 years.
“It’s always a good day, because we always can get some drugs off the street. Every time we do it is always inspiring. One of our hallmark projects is drug prevention or drug abuse prevention. Education. We feel it’s very important to educate people. Actually a lot of people come by here and a lot of them are very happy to empty out their cabinets and safely bring it to someplace rather than flushing it down the toilet,” said Mike Yakawich, Elks Lodge drug awareness committee chair.
“It kind of gives you extra relief knowing that you don’t have something in your medicine cabinet that maybe someone like a criminal element is looking for. People will break into homes in order to get these pills because not only is it beneficial for them, but it’s also worth a lot of money on the streets,” said Stacy Zinn, DEA resident agent in-charge.
The DEA organizes two prescription take-back days each year, one in the spring and one in the fall.
For the rest of the year, drop-off boxes can be found in a lot of places in Yellowstone County.