EAST LIVERPOOL - The East Liverpool City Hospital hosted a prescription drug turn-in event on Saturday, taking in approximately 51 pounds of pills and 41 pounds of liquids and aerosols.
Joe Kmetz, director of plant operations and engineering for the hospital, said that it's the fifth time the hospital has hosted such an event, and that it usually holds one every spring and fall.
"We usually see close to 100 cars," he said, "and the amount taken in is usually several hundred pounds of pills."
Even though the hospital took in fewer prescription drugs than in the past, Kmetz said he was still happy with the result.
"Yes we are happy that much is off the streets and out of the waste stream just in our area," he said.
Kmetz said the pills are separated from any liquids or aerosols, and that all of the drugs be turned over to the Drug Enforcement Agency for disposal.
According to the Ohio Health Department, nearly 27 percent of high school students reported using a prescription drug without a doctor's prescription, and every day more than 2,500 teenagers use a prescription drug to get high.
"Prescription drug abuse is a very large problem throughout the world, let alone the U.S., this helps get drugs off the street that could get into the wrong hands," Kmetz said.
He said he expected people from the tri-state area would turn in drugs, and that it's important not to simply throw away powerful medications.
"We want people to dispose of medicines properly, rather than in the waste stream, landfills or waterways, because that causes problems," he said.
Kmetz said prescription drugs pollute drinking water, and that they also affect plants and animals.
It creates immunities to drunks and makes medicines left effective, he said.
Members of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency were on hand but refused to be interviewed for this story.