Unwanted drugs collected in eastern Kentucky

Unwanted drugs collected in eastern Kentucky

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WATE) - An anti-drug organization has collected a ton of unwanted prescription drugs using drop boxes.

Operation UNITE collected the medications in several Kentucky counties last weekend as part of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. The initiative provides people a way to dispose of prescription drugs in a safe and responsible way.

Operation UNITE President Dan Smoot said getting the medications out of medicine cabinets reduces the potential for abuse.

Kentucky has been dealing with widespread prescription abuse. The state has one of the highest prescription drug overdose rates in the nation.

Operation UNITE serves 32 counties, including Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Harlan, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lincoln, Magoffin, Martin, McCreary, Menifee, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Pulaski, Rockcastle, Rowan, Wayne, Whitley and Wolfe.

Health officials discourage flushing medications down the toilet. Collecting pills helps to guard against potentially harmful effects from antibiotics, hormones, painkillers and other drugs getting into the water supply.

Portions of this report Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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