Two-thirds of prescription drug abuse in Colorado is tied to unused drugs lying around our homes, according to the state's attorney general.
Police in Southern Colorado held drug take back events on Saturday (4/26/14) to try to stop that problem.
It's the eighth time Colorado's held a drug take back event. Law enforcement has held the event every six months for the last four years. Every so often people like tom peach stop by.
"Our neighbor used to own a drug store in Manitou. And when he sold the drug store, he had to get all the stuff out of there. So he put all these pills in his basement,” said prescription drug donator Tom Peach.
That was about 10 years ago, Peach said.
"He asked us to clean up his basement for him and I found all these pills down there. It was a terrible mess,” he said.
"Every time we see a gentleman like Tom who's bringing a supply of prescription drugs that's been sitting around for 10 years. Sometimes you have to drag it in, in big boxes,” said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.
It was all hands on deck to empty the Peach car trunk.
"It gives you an indication of how much of these drugs are out there and available for young people to steal and use,” said Attorney General Suthers.
Colorado has collected 65 tons of prescription drugs in four years. State leaders are trying to make it possible to drop-off drugs on a regular basis, putting bins at places like police stations. The problem right now is finding a way to safely get rid of them.
"There's a bill being finalized in Congress that will give broader authorization for destruction,” said Attorney General Suthers.
The bags ang bags of drugs from Saturday’s drop-off will eventually be incinerated.
“Because you get an idea sitting here for four hours on a Saturday how big the demand it. It's really amazing,” said Attorney General Suthers.
"We didn't know what he was going to do with it. It's a good thing they had this,” said Peach.
Attorney General Suthers says only one-third of the prescription drug abuse is because of prescription fraud. He says he'd like to see every police station have a drug-drop off bin.