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DEA prescription collection help battle drug problems

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Posted at 6:09 PM, May 01, 2022

BILLINGS - In an effort to decrease deaths, overdoses and addictions, the U.S. Drug Enforcment Administration provided a chance to get rid of expired prescriptions.

The DEA, local law enforcement and the Elks Lodge hosted National Prescription Drug Take Back in the Elks Lodge parking lot on Saturday.

They collected old prescriptions to keep them away from potential abuse and also to make it better for the environment.

It's a nationwide effort and the collecting in Billings has been happening for about 15 years.

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KTVQ photo

"It's always a good day, because we always can get some drugs off the street," said Mike Yakawich, Elks Lodge drug awareness committee chair. "Every time we do it is always inspiring. One of our hallmark projects is drug prevention or drug abuse prevention. Education. We feel it's very important to educate people. Actually a lot of people come by here and a lot of them are very happy to empty out their cabinets and safely bring it to someplace rather than flushing it down the toilet."

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KTVQ photo

"It kind of gives you extra relief knowing that you don't have something in your medicine cabinet that maybe someone like a criminal element is looking for," said Stacy Zinn, DEA resident agent in-charge. "People will break into homes in order to get these pills because not only is it beneficial for them, but it's also worth a lot of money on the streets."

The DEA holds two prescription take back days, one in the spring and one in the fall.

Drop off boxes are available the rest of the year in several places in Yellowstone County.