ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Saturday was National Drug Take Back Day and people across the country were helping make it harder for others to find and abuse prescription pills.
DEA agents at the event said even the correct use of prescription pills can turn into an addiction.
“Sometimes you get these prescription drugs for a legitimate reason and the addiction starts in the home unintentionally,” DEA Supervisor Jacob Prieto said.
Agents said that's why these national take back days are so important to families.
“We want to prevent our friends, family, loved ones from having the opportunity to misuse opioids,” DEA Assistant Special Agent Ron Riddle said.
The drop-off site at the armory saw hundreds of people utilize the drive-by option. Some stopped to talk about why the event is important to them.
“I have grandchildren, there are people that are in my house visiting. I have a son who is disabled. We have people who come in and provide care for him, so we need to protect them as well as ourselves,” concerned citizen Mary Blessing said.
Others who worked the event collected more than just prescription pills. They collected stories of tragedy and triumph over addiction.
“They tell us personal stories about families, people, personal friends that are struggling with addiction,” U.S. National Guard Sgt. Brenda Reyes said.
Event organizers say the goal across New Mexico is to get 8 thousand pounds of prescription pills on Saturday.