Clearwater police hold prescription "take back" day

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Clearwater Police held their version of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day at Westfield Countryside Mall on Saturday.

They collected a total of 678 pounds of prescription medication, with a goal of keeping expired and excess opioids and other drugs off the streets.

Officers, police aides and volunteers were on hand for four hours to collect the medication from residents.

According to the DEA, National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and public health issue.

The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health says 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

Take Back Day events provide an opportunity for Americans to prevent drug addiction and overdose deaths.