WHITLEY CITY – A pill take-back program held in McCreary County over the weekend was one of the most successful held to date.

The 15,702 unwanted, unused or out-of-date pills brought for destruction by Operation UNITE’s “Pill Dragon” ranked eighth greatest among the 18 events held since last August.

What makes the number special, UNITE officials said, is that the pills were brought in by 18 community members and did not include any “old evidence” from law enforcement as many of the other events have.

The free “Clean Your Medicine Cabinet Out Day” event held at the Big M Plaza was sponsored by the McCreary County UNITE Coalition as part of its Accidental Dealer campaign to raise awareness of the need to properly store and dispose of medications.

The Pill Dragon – sponsored by Operation UNITE, PRIDE and the Kentucky Army National Guard – has incinerated 285,549 pills since it was first launched.

“The Pill Dragon offers citizens an easy way to dispose of old or unwanted medications,” noted Karen Kelly, director of UNITE. “This is important for two reasons: It reduces your risk of being a victim of a burglary or theft and it avoids the potential health and environmental effects of having these substances in our water system and soil.”