KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kansas City’s Drug enforcement unit says opioid addiction often starts with the use of prescription opioids found at home.
The user can develop an addiction to prescription pills or move on to synthetic opioids as a cheaper option.
That’s why police are trying to stop the problem at its source, collecting the drugs before they get into the wrong hands.
Hundreds of pounds of medications were turned into law enforcement across the Kansas City metro on Saturday.
Glenda Johnson dropped off several bags full of prescription medication she no longer had a use for.
"You've got all kinds of drugs people dump in the trash and I didn't want to do that,” said Johnson.
Johnson says if she disposed of them incorrectly, they could end up in someone else’s hands. That’s exactly what Kansas City Police are working to prevent with this event.
"The biggest impact is it's just not there and readily accessible if we're cleaning out our cabinets,” said Captain Daniel Graves of the Kansas City Drug Enforcement Unit.
It’s one of many ways the drug enforcement unit is working to combat the opioid crisis here in the metro.
"I think a lot of its just we're putting it out there. Letting people know. Educating,” said Graves.
KCPD holds two drug take-back events each year. Graves says the amount they collect at the events is increasing.
Saying people are becoming more aware of the consequences of unused prescription drugs just lying around.
"Either a kid doesn't just take that first hit or that first pill that's just laying around in mom and dad or grandma and grandpas. Just the accessibility. It's just not there,” said Graves.
Last year KCPD collected 800 pounds of medications at their fall event, 2,000 pounds this spring and on Saturday they collected over 1,800 pounds.
If you missed the event, there are several Kansas City police precincts that have year-round drop off options to get rid of unused prescriptions.