By Ava-joye Burnett

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Maryland State Police will now have 24 hour drug take back locations 365 days a year.

This is all in an effort to counter the opioid crisis in the state.

Overdose deaths in Maryland skyrocketed last year.

Maryland State Police called it a tragedy, which was probably made worse by prescriptions in your own medicine cabinet.

State Police usually had designated drug take back days throughout the year, but on April 29, during the last event, a record 2,669 pounds of medications was collected.

The staggering number made police realize people were desperately looking for a safe place to discard old medications.

There are now cabinets at 23 barracks across the state where you can drop off old prescriptions.

“And what our drug investigators are telling us is that many of those drugs are ending up on the streets, being sold individually, they are contributing to the opioid crisis,” said Greg Shipley, with Maryland State Police.

In addition to the collection boxes, state and local police are also tracking the issue from another end, by literally trying to cut of the trafficking of opioids.

From Florida, to New York and beyond, police are working to bust up opioid rings.

Just last months, more than 30 people were arrested on the Eastern Shore.

The Drug Enforcement Administration called the situation a crisis.

“The scale is getting larger and larger, and it’s not going to stop,” said Todd Edwards, with the DEA.

As for the drug collection boxes, they will be open 24/7, 365.

“First of all, if they have prescription medication that’s no longer needed, that’s no longer a part of their regimen, they need to dispose of that,” said Shipley. “Don’t let it sit in your medicine cabinet and risk the potential of that ending up in the wrong hands.”

State Police says people can drop their unused prescription off at 23 locations across the state, no questions asked.

The Rite Aid corporation donated some of the drug collection boxes.

Click here for a list of drop off locations.

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Ava-joye Burnett


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