Public hands in 371 tons of prescription drugs

In all, the agency has collected more than 2.8 million pounds, or 1,409 tons, in old prescription drugs, as part of an Obama administration strategy to prevent abuse.

According to the government's National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 7 million people used pharmaceuticals for non-medical reasons in 2010, including drugs like Vicodin and OxyContin. The institute reports that prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused by 12th graders, after marijuana.

Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act in 2010, which allows the DEA to collect and dispose of the public's excess prescription drugs.

In December, the agency proposed a set of rules to implement that law, which would expand the number of ways to gather the drugs by allowing some manufacturers and pharmacies to collect excess pharmaceuticals.