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Marylanders Get Rid Of Unused Prescription Drugs In Annual Event

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Unused and unwanted. Scores of Marylanders got rid of their prescription drugs this weekend. It’s part of the National Drug Take-Back Day.

As Gigi Barnett reports, the FDA is considering a new way to prescribe painkillers.

For a sick patient, prescription drugs are a lifesaver. But on the streets, in the wrong hands, police say they’re dangerous. That’s why police departments across the state are teaming up with the DEA and turning their stations into dropoff sites. It’s all part of the National Drug Take-Back Day.

“We will not ask any questions. You can place them in the box and you can leave. No questions asked,” said Anne Arundel County Police Lt. Michael Brothers.

“I had a big Ziplock bag of it,” said Dana DeLucca.

But DeLucca had no idea how to get rid of the antibiotics she turned in. Flushing them only pollutes the Chesapeake and, with a 2-year-old running around, she wanted them out of the house.

“I’ve been wanting to do it for a while now, but I didn’t know how and that was my perfect chance,” she said.

The Take-Back is to make sure painkillers don’t reach the street. It comes at a time when the FDA wants to change the way they’re prescribed.

From now on, the agency wants doctors to write out each prescription instead of calling them in to drug stores. If a patient wants a refill, they’ll have to see the doctor first.

“Restricting the illegal use of prescription drugs is a good thing, as long as it doesn’t–and that’s the challenge–interfere with getting those drugs to the people who use them,” said Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore CEO Bernard McBride.

Some police departments around the state aren’t waiting for the Drug Take-Back Day. Instead, they have boxes in their lobbies to collect prescription drugs year-round.

The FDA says the proposal would affect patients who use highly addictive painkillers like hydrocodone and Vicodin.

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