A permanent drug take back box.

Saturday is another National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, where you get the chance to bring in unwanted prescription drugs.

The Director of the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Steve Lukan, says the take back days are part of the bigger effort to stop drug abuse.

“It’s a very important piece trying to get these unused drugs out of the home, because we know nationwide this is a really big as far as how young people in particular get addicted to painkillers or opioids,” Lukan says. “They will use unused drugs, or even the drugs that the find in the medicine cabinets of family and friends.” These events are held twice a year and Lukan says he’s pleased with the past results here.

“Iowa has consistently been a leader in the country in terms of total pounds taken in — in fact we are getting close to having 40 tons of unused drugs taken since the program got underway. So, it’s really a hug success,” according to Lukan. He says turning in the unused drugs not only keeps them from getting into the hands of someone who might misuse them, it also keeps them from being flushed down the toilet or into landfills where they can impact water supplies.

“We encourage Iowans to take a few minutes, maybe look through the medicine cabinet. If you have in particular unused pain pills, it s good way to get rid of them in a safe and secure way and do the right thing,” Lukan says.

Saturday’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day features more than 100 Iowa sites, most of which will accept leftover medicine between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. You can find locations to take back your unused medicine on the Office of Drug Control Policy website at: www.odcp.iowa.gov.

(Reporting by Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)