By Dan Bewley, The News On 6
BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -- Broken Arrow Police are working to get a handle on unused prescription medication and stop dangerous pills from getting into the water supply or in the hands of children.
According to a 2006 National Survey on Drug Use, everyday 25,000 teenagers try a painkiller for the first time. Teens abuse prescription medications more than any other illicit drug other than marijuana.
Saturday the Broken Arrow Police Department held a special collection for unused prescription drugs. They gathered hundreds of pills, liquids, even patches from area residents.
The drugs are treated like evidence, in a way. The boxes were sealed shut then the pills were weighed before ultimately being destroyed by the BAPD.
Police said children can find prescription medications easier than parents and grandparents would like to think, so it's important for the drugs to be properly disposed.
"We don't want you flushing down in the stool because we don't want it getting into our water supply, but we also don't want them in the hands of the individuals that are going to use them for a purpose that they're not supposed to be used for," said Lisa Ford, Broken Arrow Police Department.
Recently there have been two high profile arrests involving prescription drug abuse.
Former Oklahoma State University basketball coach Sean Sutton is on three years probation after pleading guilty to illegally obtaining prescription drugs. Chelsea Police Chief Jeremy Murrell is facing 12 counts of obtaining prescription drugs by fraud. Both men are accused of getting their prescriptions by tricking doctors, but the BAPD said it's an example of the lengths addicts will go to get prescription drugs.
"If you have someone who's hooked on the drugs, they will doing anything to get their hands on them," Ford said.
The BAPD will host another collection in November. They said if you don't live in Broken Arrow, you should contact your local police department to properly dispose of your prescription medications.