According to the DEA nearly six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That's more than cocaine, heroine and hallucinogen abuse combined. Officials believe that a solution to the growing problem can start at home.
Nationwide the DEA teamed up with local law enforcement agencies to open up their stations and take in unused prescription medicines.
In less than half an hour Woodway Police had already filled one bin as residents shuttled in and out.
Officials estimated in just that short span of time they collected what would amount to a couple thousands of dollars worth of drugs on the street.
Woodway Public Safety Director, Chief Yost Zakhary, attended a meeting in Washington D.C.last week, where they discussed some of the serious consequences of at home disposal.
"They could be picked up in the trash.Two you're putting unknown substances into a landfill but more importantly I always have the fear that someone could get a hold of them pilfering through trash or they may accidentally get into the wrong hands," Zakhary said.
Officially say the easiest way to curb prescription abuse is by making sure the drugs aren't accessible.
"Most prescriptions [abusers] often get these from family, friends, often times from leftover medicine cabinets that they just happen to find. So we urge people get rid of them and you could be saving someones life, a loved one or a total stranger by doing the right thing." Zakhary said.
At the end of the collection program the DEA will incinerator all of the unused drugs.