Hawaii County is part of a nation- and state-wide effort to keep opioids and other powerful pain medications from being misused.
Hawaii County Police Chief Paul Ferreira says our state has what the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration calls an opioid issue, not a crisis. And there are efforts to keep the situation under control.
"There's doctors that have been arrested, there's pharmacies that have closed down, they've changed the way opioids are prescribed, so a proactive attack on it."
Ferreira explains that many law abiding individuals end up with opioids they don't know how to get rid of.
"You have individuals that have parents, grandparents, that had cancer or terminal illness and they were prescribed all these pain killers and it's just sitting there for somebody to pick up and start using or selling."
Chief Ferreira says this Saturday, you may take unwanted medications to the Kona Police Station or the Ka Waena Lapa'au Medical Complex in Hilo between 10 and 2. Or to any police station on Hawaii Island any time.
There are also locations on each island where drugs may be taken on Saturday. To find the location nearest you, go online to takebackday.dea.gov