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Police, DEA Prepare to Collect Prescription Pills
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Prescription Hydrocodone, an opioid
Desare Frazier

Law enforcement officers across Mississippi, are preparing for this weekend's National Take Back Initiative.  They say, disposing of the prescription drugs properly can help prevent abuse. 

Mississippians can take old and unused prescription drugs to local police departments across the state Saturday, as part of an initiative sponsored by the U.S. Drug and Enforcement Administration. Oxford Police Captain Alan Ivy is expecting a big turn-out. They promote the event with activities and food to encourage participation. Ivey says prescription pill abuse is a constant challenge for law enforcement.

"When you talk to our metro narcotics units, that's what we, that's what they deal with, it's probably 50/50 of illegal versus prescription legal drugs," said Ivy.  

Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, Daniel Comeaux is with DEA in Mississippi. He says they hope to reduce access to opioid prescription drugs, which he says are a gateway to heroin abuse. 

"If we can keep the opiates out of hands that are using it for non-medical reasons, it's just one way for us to keep individuals off of heroin," said Comeaux. 

Comeaux says pills shouldn't be thrown in the trash or flushed down the drain because it can impact drinking water. The event is held twice a year. He says last fall they collected nearly 2,600 pounds of pills, which they incinerated.