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Cincinnati hospitals, police departments collect hundreds of pounds of prescription pills

Posted at 7:24 PM, Oct 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-28 19:35:34-04

CINCINNATI -- Joyce Mohaupt said her hip surgery last month left her with an almost full bottle of pain medicine.

“I wanted to get it out of the house,” Mohaupt said. “I took very few of them. I saw no reason to hold on to them. This was a very convenient way to take care of it.”

Mercy Hospitals, along with other Cincinnati-area hospitals and police departments, collected hundreds of pounds of prescription pills Saturday as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has taken in more than 8 million pounds of pills.

The annual initiative aims to prevent people from becoming addicted to opiates as well as stopping medications from getting into waterways.

That need is extreme in the Tri-State. Christine Kirby, pharmacist at Mercy Health West Hospital, said she hopes the event will curb the trend of heroin addiction.

“Those medications getting into the wrong hands could really lead someone down the road of a possible addiction issue,” Kirby said. “We’re seeing that more and more every day in our communities.”

Mohaupt said she is thankful for a convenient way to get rid of  drugs she didn’t need.

“I had my eyes opened for the first opportunity to dispose of it,” she said. “I knew they didn’t belong in the house, and I wasn’t going to use them.”

The drug take back event ended at 2 p.m., but many police stations have drop boxes year round. Click here to find a location near you.