Area law enforcement agencies will be participating in Saturday's 11th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, designed by the U.S. Department of Justice as a safe and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs and to educate the public about the potential of medication abuse.

It's a free and anonymous event, and collections will be done from 10 a.m to 2 p.m.

In Independence, the collection will be in the north City Hall Parking lot at 111 E. Maple Ave., across the street from the Central Police Building. In Sugar Creek, go to the police and fire departments at 1001 Heroes Way.

In Blue Springs, collection sites are at the police department (Howard Brown Public Safety Building, 1100 SW Smith St.) and the two Price Chopper locations (1100 S. Missouri 7 and 1305 N. Missouri 7).

In Lee's Summit, collection sites are:

• Saint Luke's East Hospital (off Douglas Road, drive-thru)

• Lee's Summit Medical Center (2100 SE Blue Parkway, drive-thru)

• John Knox Village (Places Restaurant, 1001 NW Chipman Road)

• 2 Hy-Vee locations (310 SW Ward Road; 301 NE Rice Road)

• 2 Price Chopper locations (937 NE Woods Chapel Road; 251 SW Greenwich Drive)

Prescription, over-the-counter and even veterinary drugs will be accepted. Original packaging and liquids will be accepted, and there is no need to remove labels (HIPPA regulations do not apply since it is a voluntary event).

No needles or inhalers will be accepted – syringes because of the health risk and inhalers (or any aerosol medications) because they explode at the incineration facility.

More than 3,800 agencies participated in the last event in September, taking in more than 702,000 pounds of unused, expired or unwanted drugs. Cumulatively, since the first such event in September 2010, the previous 10 Take-Back days have collected more than 5.5 million pounds of drugs.

“The numbers are shocking – approximately 46,000 Americans die each year from drug-related deaths,” Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a news release. “More than half of those are from heroin and prescription opioids.

“With four out of five new heroin users starting with prescription medications, I know our take-back program makes a real difference.”

According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.5 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. That same study showed that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friend, including from the home medicine cabinet.