LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3.com) -- More than 1,000 pounds of unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs were turned in Saturday by Southern Nevada residents.
The Operation Medicine Cabinet collection event yielded 1,035 pounds, according to Jason Roth of Roseman University.
The total surpassed October's collection event, when 748 pounds of medication were turned in.
The Drug Enforcement Administration partnered with local law enforcement and Roseman University of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy as part of the National Drug Take Back Day.
During the one-day, drive-through event, unused and expired drugs were dropped off anonymously and with no-questions-asked for safe disposal.
The purpose of Operation Medicine Cabinet is to two-fold: to educate the public about the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drug misuse and abuse, and to remind people to periodically examine the contents of their medicine cabinets for potential hazards.
Studies by the Partnership for Drug Free American show teen prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse remains at high levels, which often has tragic consequences.
Recent data suggests that teen lifetime abuse of medicines is holding steady at 17 percent for prescription drugs and 12 percent for over-the-counter cough and cold medicines. It is second to marijuana as the most commonly abused drug.
Medicine cabinets provide youth easy access to drugs, often at home, or at the homes of family and friends. The drugs are often taken and abused or even sold to others.
Research shows that while the death rate among children from poisoning has decreased by half since the 1970s, the rate of poisoning deaths related to medications has almost doubled from 36 percent to 64 percent.