Prescription Drug Take Back Yields 4 Tons of Pills

October 1, 2012 Updated Oct 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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October 1, 2012 Updated Oct 1, 2012 at 4:56 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) Saturday's National Drug Take Back Initiative brought in 8,000 pounds of pills to be destroyed safely by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The program's "no questions asked" policy allowed 1,700 people in Erie and Niagara Counties to drop off their old or used prescriptions without fear of prosecution if the drugs were not their own.

Agents say the event prevents pills from ending up in the hands of children.

The drugs are disposed of in a safe manner than flushing. Pills flushed down a toilet or drain end up in local water supplies. Nationwide, 80% of public water supplies have been contaminated by medications.