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DEA, Elks Lodge collect old prescription drugs in Billings

Take Back.jpg
Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 24, 2021

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, about 9.7 million people misused prescription pain relievers in 2019.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday aims to reduce those numbers dramatically.

The Billings Elks Lodge once again teamed up with the DEA for the 20th take back that happens twice a year.

DEA statistics also show millions misused prescription stimulants, tranquilizers or sedatives.

The take back eliminates some of those, as well as making sure the drugs do not get flushed down the toilet and into the water supply.

The people who bring the drugs to dispose, appreciate the help.

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KTVQ photo

"You know that's probably one reason why I like doing this or supporting the DEA," said Mike Yakawich, Elks Lodge officer. "When you have people come in here with a bag load, we've had someone bring a garbage bag load. But often baggies of these pills that they know in their mind, it's this is the best way of disposing of them, they're so grateful."

Last October, collection sites around the country brought in nearly 493 tons.

The DEA takes those drugs to an incinerator.

Yakawich says regular prescription drop -off sites are located at:

  • The Billings Police Department at 220 North 27th Street
  • The Crime Prevention Center at 2910 3rd Avenue North
  • Billings Clinic
  • St. Vincent Healthcare
  • Laurel Police Department at 215 West 1st Street.