Law enforcement agencies are gearing up for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
On Saturday, people can head to the Huntsville Police Department to drop off outdated or unwanted prescriptions. Multiple different agencies and organizations will be collecting medications from 8 a.m. until noon. It's as easy as driving by, dropping off unwanted medications and feeling a sense of relief knowing your unwanted prescriptions won't be contributing to the opioid epidemic.
"Every day there, it's like there's a constant flow of calls between overdoses and some type of call that's dealing with opiates," said Sgt. Dequan Hyter with the Huntsville Police Department.
HPD is receiving an overwhelming number of opiate-related calls. Hyter said it's increasing at an alarming rate.
And this is not a new trend.
"Just a few years ago, Alabama was the No. 1 state in the country, not in the best of ways," said Wendy Reeves, executive director of Partnership for a Drug-Free Community. "We wrote more prescriptions for opioids than any other place in the country."
Nowadays, Reeves said, "you're really hard-pressed to find someone who has not been touched by the opioid epidemic."
She said people often don't know what to do with their drugs after they have recovered from surgery.
"Every time you have a surgery, you're going to be prescribed some kind of pain medication," Reeves said. "I hear from people all the time, 'They gave me all these pain pills, and I took one or I didn't take any of them,' so they need to get rid of them."
That's why medication take-back events are crucial in making sure unwanted opiates don't add to the opioid epidemic.
"A bunch of us ... work together to make this happen," Reeves said. "That is because it's so important in our community to get these drugs off the streets."
More than 27,000 pounds of outdated and unwanted medications have been collected at community take-back events in Huntsville since the first event in 2010.
For those who can't come to the event Saturday, there are more than 15 locations throughout Madison and Huntsville that can be visited any time of the year to get rid of medications, no questions asked.