Thousands of prescription and over the counter pills were collected at various locations across the Roanoke Valley. It’s part of National Drug Take Back Day.

The national effort made its way to the Roanoke Valley. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day gives the public an opportunity to discard expired or unused medication.

“70% of the drugs that are misused by our youth in the nation are gotten out of the home medicine chest. What we're trying to do is educate our communities and our parents about the dangers of having the medication in your medicine chest,” said Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition Director Kathy Sullivan.

There were nine sites in our region for drop offs. Junior Miss Fredericksburg was at the Tanglewood Mall drop off site. She's a ninth grader and says prescription drug abuse in high school is becoming an all too common thing.

“Entering high school you start seeing a lot more dangerous action in teens and they can be your loved ones or friends. You just really don't want to see them get hurt in any way so this is definitely helping that issue,” said Mariah Orr.

In 2010, there was only one drop off location and the initiative collected 334 pounds of medication. In April of 2013, there were 8 location and nearly 4000 pounds of medication collected.

The Western Virginia Water Authority was also at one of the locations. They say flushing your medication down the toilet is not an environmental friendly option.

“What we know now through more advanced testing is some of the chemical compounds that are in these medicines do not get removed during the normal process cleaning the valleys waste water,” said Sarah Baumgardner with the Western Virginia Water Authority.