BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– The third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is coming up on Oct. 29. It offers people a safe way to dispose of unwanted prescription drugs.

Authorities believe cleaning out the medicine cabinet is the only safe option. One study shows the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends.

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“In 2009, deaths from prescription drug abuse outstripped deaths from drunk driving,” said Dr. Kerry Broderick with Denver Health Medical Center.

“A student took a bottle of prescription meds out of their parents medicine cabinet, brought it to school and just started handing the pills out to all their classmates,” said Denver Health Chief Paramedic Scott Bookman.

John Hunter Hauck was a sophomore at Colorado State University when his life ended at an off campus house.

“May 3, 2010 he overdosed on Oxycontin and alcohol,” said John’s father former Boulder District Attorney Alex Hunter.

He said the danger started in the family home.

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“The bottom line is that I think he got my drugs that were on the counter and were not in a safe place,” said Hunter.

Hunter calls prescription drug abuse an epidemic. He joined law enforcement officials in promoting the third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

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Last year, more than seven tons of unused drugs were collected in Colorado. With 101 drop off sites this Saturday, authorities hope to collect and destroy even more. The Take Back is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“People need to treat these drugs like Oxycontin like loaded guns,” said Hunter.

He shared his story in hopes that nobody else will have to share his sorrow.

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ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Find a drop off location near you at deadiversion.usdoj.gov