MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sheriff’s officials in Washington County were not sure how many drugs they’d collect with their latest drug “take back” campaign. The answer is, a lot.

Commander Brian Mueller says three 100-gallon barrels of prescription drugs were collected on April 30 by people who voluntarily turned in unused or unneeded pills.

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Mueller says that’s a significant amount of drugs that won’t fall into the wrong hands.

“I spend a lot of time working (on) our drug task force, and we do find that there’s a large scale diversion of a lot of these legitimately prescribed drugs.”

The haul included 1,100 grams of Oxycodone or Percocet, 1,800 grams of Hydrocodone or Vicodin, 650 grams of Codeine, and 550 grams of Amphetamine or Adderall.

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Mueller says turning the drugs in to the proper authorities is safer than simply disposing of the pills yourself.

“A lot of these drugs are toxic,” Mueller says. “Simply flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away isn’t good for our environment. We take great precautions that these get disposed of.”

Mueller says they have another drug “take back” planned for the fall, and he says they hope to make it a more frequent occurrence.

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NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Adam Carter Reports