Keeping Rx drugs out of the wrong hands

By Erika Mahoney

April 26, 2014 Updated Apr 26, 2014 at 6:53 PM EDT

Binghamton, N.Y. (WBNG Binghamton) When drugs get into the wrong hands, the consequences can be very serious.

As part of a national effort, local law enforcement agencies spent their Saturday taking back unwanted, unused drugs for "National Prescription Drug Take Back Day."

"The importance of removing the medications from your cabinets is so that they're not accessible by other family members, especially children," Binghamton Police Capt. Jack Collins said.

The Binghamton Police Department's Community Response Team set up shop at two locations to collect drugs.

At the CVS on Pennsylvania Avenue, officers collected about five full garbage bags.

Officer Conor Heslin said prescription drug abuse is a problem in the Greater Binghamton area and it can act as a gateway drug, especially if the drugs "end up in the wrong hands."

Officer Dan Ostanek said disposing unwanted medications this way is also better for the environment. People may not know flushing drugs is very harmful.

Police will take the drugs to the Drug Enforcement Administration, where DEA officers will properly dispose of them.

Ostanek said the best part about helping the cause was meeting the community.

About 40 people dropped off their medications at the CVS and most stopped to chat to learn more about the imitative.

The officers said one of the best parts about today was getting to interact with the community.

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