Published: Sep 22, 2010 3:46 PM EDT
Updated: Sep 22, 2010 12:46 PM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. - This Saturday, September 25, 2010, the Fort Myers Police Department will participate in a national initiative to get prescription drugs off city streets. The Drug Enforcement Administration's "National Take-Back Day" will provide a unified opportunity for the public to surrender expired, unwanted or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications to law enforcement for destruction. This one day effort will bring focus to the issue of prescription drug abuse and provides a safe collection site for everyone, regardless of where they live. The program is anonymous and participants should use the following guidelines:

Controlled, non-controlled and over the counter substances may be collected.

Participants may dispose medication in its original container. Labels identifying the patient should be removed.

Medication can also be removed from its container and disposed of directly into the collection box.

Liquid products such as cough syrup should remain sealed to prevent leakage.

Intravenous solutions and syringes will not be accepted due to the potential hazard posed by blood-borne pathogens.

The 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) estimates there are 6.2 million non-medical users of psychotherapeutic drugs in the United States. The NSDUH survey further indicates that number is more than the number of cocaine, heroin and hallucinogen abusers combined. Prescription drugs are often obtained from family and friends. In addition, many people don't know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine. Flushing those down the toilet or throwing them away both present potential health and safety hazards. Collection boxes will be located at FMPD headquarters at 2210 Widman Way this Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.