The opioid drug crisis - now a "public health emergency" by order of the president - is testament to how hard this work is.
In honor of National Prescription Take Back Day on Saturday, police departments across New England have set up dozens of sites where the public can take unused prescription drugs.
This weekend, local law enforcement is providing three sites in Pulaski County for residents to turn in their unused or unwanted prescription medications so they don't end up in the wrong hands. Local police stations will have drug drop boxes will be available from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. The president's national health emergency declaration opens certain federal funds to drug treatment groups, among other things.
Anyone can bring pills and solid medications to the police department on Grand Avenue in Bellingham from 10am - 2pm Saturday to anonymously return drugs for free disposal with no questions asked.
According to DHEC, the DEA can only accept pills or patches, not accept liquids, needles, or sharps.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.
Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.
The Drug Enforcement Agency has been holding these national drug take backs since 2010.