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Got drugs? Get rid of them - safely - on Saturday

With 386,000 Americans dead of drug overdoses in 10 years —20,000 of them in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware — pretty much any kind of preventive action is bound to save lives. Like safely getting rid of unused prescription medicines on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day — or, as the posters simply ask, "Got Drugs?"

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, thousands of locations will accept pills and other solids (like patches but not liquids or sharps) for disposal by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  Dozens of local sites show up in the DEA's searchable database; you can also call 1-800-882-9539.

A majority of people who misused prescription opioids in the past year got them from a friend or relative, research has found, and addiction to those pain pills is driving recent increases in heroin deaths. Unused prescription medicines left in medicine chests are available for kids to start experimenting and visitors to swipe. Some real-estate agents advise clients to remove all medicines because of thefts at open houses.

Pennsylvania also has hundreds of permanent drop-off boxes installed around the state, as does New Jersey.

Track overdose deaths by county in this interactive graphic.

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