KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Expired and unwanted prescription drugs were thrown out Saturday in an effort to keep those drugs from being abused.
Area hospitals and police departments took in unwanted and expired medications and the drugs will be destroyed.
It's an effort to stop prescription drug abuse, with an emphasis on opioids.
"We want to keep them out of the hands of misuse. Potential for youth to take those drugs or any other drug abuser and make it harder to obtain those," Tiffany Mason, Chief Operating Officer at Belton Regional Medical Center said.
In Belton, Missouri, some of those dropping off medications filled grocery bags with unwanted prescriptions.
"Without a doubt, this is the most responsible way. They actually dispose of it instead of taking a chance for someone else getting it," said David Taylor of Belton.
The DEA recently launched their "One Pill Can Kill awareness campaign to people know about deadly surge in fake prescription pills.
A 17-year-old girl died October 17 in Chillicothe, Missouri, after taking counterfeit prescription pills.
Those pills contained dangerous amounts of controlled substances.
Chillicothe police said their officers responded recently to other overdoses from counterfeit prescription pills.
Those overdoses were not fatal.
Taylor said he wasn't sure what to do with his unwanted medicine and didn't want them in the wrong hands.
"That's why I didn't want to put them in the trash or take a chance for somebody going through the trash and get some," he said. "This way I know they are property destroyed."
The Clay County Sheriff's Office recently sent out a warning about the increasing threat from thesepowerful pills.
The sheriff's department said they are investigating 13 overdose cases, with many victims teens or young adults.
"If you buy it from someone on the street, you don't know what's in it." Taylor said. "So, that's a big concern, taking something you don't know what it's going to do."