SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -

The nationwide trend of prescription pill abuse is starting to be seen closer to home.

The Sioux Fall Police Department predicts that prescription pills will overtake meth as the second most abused drug in the area behind marijuana.

Officer Sam Clemens said they’ve seen pills out in the streets because of a variety of reasons.

"There's the theft, taking pills from either family or friends, breaking into places, taking them. We've got a lot of people that are doctor shopping and taking them from different doctors to getting legal prescriptions,” said Clemens.

The presence of prescription pill abuse is clear to law enforcement,

Clemens, however, said the troubling question of why it is increasing remains unsolved.

"We've been dealing with them for a number of years but the sudden increase, the trend, the upward trends; I'm not sure why all of a sudden that's happening,” said Clemens.

Matt Walz with Keystone Treatment Center in Sioux Falls said over the past several years, they've seen more cases of prescription pill abuse than the previous forty years.

For him, the key to getting the upward trend slowing down is to not fight prescription pills, alone, but to fight against addictions that lead to the abuse.

"We can work to prevent addiction and effectively treat and combat addiction. That's the real enemy because sometimes people will morph from one drug to another, to another depending on what's going on in their life,” said Walz.

Walz said there are two points to remember when handling prescription bills.

It is a felony crime for any friends and family to exchange or pass off any prescription pills to another.

Also, he said to ask a pharmacist for the proper way to dispose of unwanted or unused prescription pills.

He said flushing them down the toilet or bringing them to a drop-off location are two examples.

Clemens said they continue to make their prescription drop box available in the Law Enforcement Center lobby.

He said they collect hundreds of pounds in the drop box each year as a solution to try and take unnecessary pills off the streets.