Updated: Saturday, 25 Sep 2010, 6:41 PM EDT
Published : Saturday, 25 Sep 2010, 6:41 PM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Prescription drug abuse is another growing problem across the country and Saturday, people around Western New York had a chance to help fight it.
Kenmore Mercy Hospital hosted one of hundreds of prescription drug dropoffs nationwide as part of the "National Take It Back Initiative."
Emergency room visits for misuse of prescription drugs doubled between 2004 and 2008, and organizers use events like these to let people get unused or unwanted drugs out of their homes.
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Michelle Spahn of the Drug Enforcement Agency said, "The overdose deaths that we have right now in Erie and Niagara counties as well as the surrounding counties is actually exceeding the motor vehicle crashes, fatalities for motor vehicle crashes. So it's important that we get this awareness out there.
"All the medications that we're collecting today are taken up to Quevanta in Niagara Falls and they're incinerated, and as part of a grow green event through the Catholic Health, the medications are being used to generate electrical power for the plants up in Niagara Falls. So everything is being recirculated," said Frank Heinrich of Catholic Health Systems.
For more information on ways to properly dispose of prescription drugs, visit the Department of Environmental Conservation website.