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DEA hosts eighth prescription drug take-back Saturday

PHOENIX -- It's time to empty your medicine cabinet.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is holding its eighth prescription drug take-back on April 26, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

Arizona residents can drop off their old, unwanted or expired drugs to one of the 85 designated locations statewide. DEA Special Agent Ramona Sanchez said unused prescription medications are a public safety issue.

"Often we do see a high rate of prescription drug abuse," she said. "And a majority of teenagers have reported that the prescription drugs they get (are) from their family and friends."

According to the DEA, medications that go unused in homes are a concern because they are susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft, misuse and abuse.

According to the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 6.8 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. In Arizona, 1 in 6 youths have reported abuse of prescription drugs.

To find a drop off location site nearest you, visit www.DEA.gov.

KTAR's Martha Maurer contributed to this report.

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