Adair County drug collection site largest in state, according to sheriff

In the past seven years, that the Adair County Sheriff's Office has done this program, they've collected nearly 4,000 pounds of prescription medication. (Louis Finley/KTVO)

Law enforcement agencies across the nation are gearing up for the bi-annual National Drug Take Back Day, April 28.

But for one agency, this has been a year-round operation.

"We don't care what names are on the labels, that's not our concern," said Adair County Sheriff Robert Hardwick.

What Hardwick is concerned about? Getting excess drugs off the streets.

"We have the highest collection in the state in regards to this because we do it all the time, and we've been doing this since 2011," Hardwick said.

In the past seven years of this program, the Adair County Sheriff's Office has collected nearly 4,000 pounds of prescription medication.

"Some of these pills are the size of your little finger. That's a lot of weight. That's a lot of pills that have been taken off of the street,” Hardwick said.

Currently, there's over 125 pounds of pills, in five boxes, waiting to be shipped to the Drug Enforcement Administration in St. Louis where they’ll be burned. This total is what the office has collected in one week.

"Some of it is, might be, medication they've taken for a while and they were prescribed 90 pills and only took so many and they have some left or they have a refill and they didn't need it," Hardwick said.

In October, the National Drug Take Back event gathered 456 tons of pills. The state of Missouri was one of the top collectors.

"We're going to continue to do it as long as I’m here, and I would hope that it’s continued down the road," Hardwick said.

To find the closest collection site, click here.

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