— On Sept. 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Drug Enforcement Administration ( DEA) will hold their fifth Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

It is a national program that takes place every six months that gives the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft, by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

"The program has been very successful," says Sgt. Paul Cavallaro of Pennsylvania State Police Honesdale. "It is a free and anonymous service."

PSP Honesdale Barracks is one of the collection sites for the take-back initiative.

During the last take-back day, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of prescription drugs at over 5,000 sites operated by DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. To date, the program has brought in 1.5 million (nearly 775 tons) of pills.

"The program is well received by the public," says James Hischar, Diversion Investigator for DEA. "The main goal is to keep these prescription drugs from children and prevent abuse. Abuse of pharmaceuticals has succeeded that of heroine and cocaine combined. Prescription drugs such as oxycotton, oxycodone and vicoden have similar qualities and effects as heroine."

According to a release regarding the program, studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash both pose potential safety and health hazards.

The collected medications are delivered to entities authorized by the Attorney General, and are disposed of.

Local collection sites are the American Legion in Forest City, the Forest City Police Department, PSP Honesdale, PSP Dunmore, Giant Market in Dickson City, Pennridge Regional Police Department in South Sterling, Moscow Borough Municipal Building, PSP Blooming Grove in Hawley, Scranton Police Department, Duryea Borough Building, PSP Gibson Barracks in New Milford and PSP Wyoming.

For more information or to find other locations collecting unwanted prescription drugs, visit www.dea.gov.