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DEA Drug Take Back Day is Saturday. Here's how you can take part

Cory Sharber
DEA Cincinnati Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jason Schumacher, Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Lisa Davis, and Hamilton County Heroin Task Force commander Tom Fallon address the media at CPD District 3 Headquarters on Wednesday.

People across the Greater Cincinnati region will have the chance to safely get rid of their unused medication this weekend.

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 22nd National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at various locations. The event seeks to make the public aware of the need to dispose of substances safely.

DEA Cincinnati Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jason Schumacher says drug addiction tends to start at home, and disposing of unused medication lowers the risk within communities.

"This is a problem that affects everyone in the United States and our community, so it's a way for all of us to do our part," Schumacher said.

Last October, Schumacher says over 15,000 pounds of unused medication were collected during a Drug Take Back event in Southern Ohio.

"To get that out of the cabinet and into a safe location can only save lives, and so it starts with us and we encourage people to really get involved and take advantage of this opportunity," Schumaker said.

If you can't make Saturday's event

Cincinnati Assistant Police Chief Lisa Davis says while Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, there's plenty of locations citizens can dispose of medications year-round.

"Those boxes are available for you to come and drop off your drugs that are unwanted or no longer needed," Davis said. "Eighty percent of our heroin users start off misusing prescription drugs, so that's how important it is to get those drugs out of those cabinets and get them into places like this."

The city's take back locations will be at Cincinnati Police District 3 headquarters, Kroger on Kenard Ave., Walgreens on Seymour Ave., and Health Source of Cincinnati on Campus Lane. in Mt. Washington.

According to the DEA, drug overdose deaths are up 16% over last year, killing more than 290 people daily. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, most people that misused prescription medications obtained them through friends or family members.

Year-round receptacles are available at more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments, and business nationwide. Drop boxes at Veterans Administration medical centers can also be used to dispose of controlled substance prescription medications.

Cory Sharber
This drop off box is located at the entrance to CPD District 3 Headquarters.