The Tri-County Drug Task Force/Jefferson County Sheriff's Department will participate in the fifth national drug take-back initiative from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The Tri-County Drug Task Force/Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department will participate in the fifth national drug take-back initiative from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

The effort will be in collaboration with the Drug Enforcement Administration and will give the public another opportunity to prevent drug abuse and theft by disposing of unwanted prescription drugs.

Residents may bring their medications for disposal to the Brookshire’s located at 2800 S. Hazel St., where the sheriff’s office Mobile Incident Command Center will be on site. The service is free and anonymous. No questions will be asked.

Locally, last year’s collection totals surpassed the previous take-back event by more than 60 pounds. Those estimates totaled 126 pounds of prescription medications collected, equivalent to several thousand pills. However, nationally citizens turned in a record-breaking 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of medications at the 5,659 take-back sites that were available.

“This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue,” a spokesman said.”Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.”