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Police Officers Fan Out Across Kansas City Metro To Collect Unwanted Pills

Andrea Tudhope
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City police and Drug Enforcement Administration officials transfer full boxes of prescription medicine to a U-Haul at Linwood and Main Street in mid-town Kansas City, Missouri, Saturday.

Cheri Post recently had shoulder replacement surgery. It was painful, but she said she didn't need all of the prescription painkillers. 

"Then you go back for follow ups," Post said. "Doctors are still trying to give me medication. All they do is push pain pills on you."

According to Post, she soon had nearly 100 excess pills and no idea what to do with them. So, when she came across a notice that Kansas City police were collecting unwanted medicine Saturday, she jumped in her car. 

Across the metro area, police and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials fanned out at designated drop off locations for National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. There were 43 drop-off locations, with 11 in Kansas City, Missouri, and eight in Overland Park and Leawood, Kansas.

"It's designed for people who have prescription medicine that's unused, unwanted," said Kansas City police Sergeant Rod Gentry. "It allows them to have a safe place to dispose of medicines without them falling into the hands of family members or kids."

Twice a year, each April and October, metro area police and DEA agents organize the drug take-back events, collecting any unwanted medicine, with the exception of liquids, needles and aerosols. Officials then incinerate the medication.

Kansas City police and the Missouri Western Interdiction and Narcotics Task Force collected 2,674 pounds Saturday. Overland Park police brought in 1,745 pounds, bringing their total since October 2011 to 18,773 pounds of medicine.

Andrea Tudhope is a reporter for KCUR 89.3. Email her at andreat@kcur.org, and follow her on Twitter @_tudhope.

Andrea Tudhope is an award-winning multimedia journalist based in Kansas City, Missouri. She is currently coordinating producer for America Amplified, a national public media community engagement initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
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