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Drug take-backs held across Arizona

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PHOENIX -

People cleaned out their medicine cabinets Saturday to get rid of old, unwanted and potentially harmful prescription drugs.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is trying to prevent drugs from falling into the wrong hands.

93-year old Carl Opitz got rid of some old heart medicine.

Opitz took the old medicine to one of the 90 drop off centers around the state.

"I'm reassured that proper distribution is made and it's taken care of," said Opitz.  

It's part of the DEA's drug take-back program and was held throughout the state.

"There a lot of prescription drugs out there that don't need to be in households or medicine cabinets," said DEA spokesperson Ramona Sanchez.

The agency says prescription drugs that sit in medicine cabinets are susceptible to misuse and abuse.

In the last three years, the DEA has collected 48,000 pounds of unused, unwanted or expired prescription medication.

"We make it as easy as possible for people," said Sanchez.

At some locations, you can drive up and drop off your unused or expired drugs, others you walk up and put it in a box.

"We see all walks of life. Elderly people, middle aged people, mothers, educators, leaders of our community," said Sanchez.

The DEA says you don't want to throw these kinds of drugs away.

"By throwing these prescription drugs down the toilet or the trash, it gets into our drainage system. They're not environmentally sound," said Sanchez.

"I don't want it to go into the landfill. It's convenient and easy. I can also get rid of non prescription things as well," said Paula Stevens.

Drop offs are free and anonymous.

Opitz and Stevens agreed to talk to FOX 10 on camera before hand.

"This is not an investigative pursuit by any means, it's really an awareness campaign," said Sanchez.

The DEA says it will later incinerate the drugs to ensure they don't get in the wrong hands.

"I think it's a very good idea. If more people would do it, the stuff wouldn't get into circulation," said Opitz.

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