PORTLAND — A prescription take-back program netted nearly 12,000 pounds of medications in Maine last month.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 30 was an effort of the Drug Enforcement Administration and state and local law enforcement agencies. The program is meant to dispose of unneeded and expired drugs that could be susceptible to abuse and theft. The collection effort incinerates the medications, which prevents them from entering the environment by being flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash.

In Maine, 88 agencies at 156 sites collected 11,920 pounds of medications, a 52 percent increase from last year. On a per capita basis, Maine had the nation’s highest rate of medications turned, according to Michael Wardrop, the DEA’s resident agent in charge in Maine.

“This prescription Take Back event was a terrific success and is just one of the preventive measures that DEA has initiated to help stem the illegal use of prescription medication,” Steven Derr, the agency’s special agent in charge in New England said in a statement.

In New England, a total of 38,190 pounds of prescription medications were collected. The greatest amount, 12,343 pounds, was collected in Massachusetts. Connecticut collected 6,787 pounds, New Hampshire 4,020 pounds, Rhode Island 1,716 pounds and Vermont 1,404 pounds.

The agency says 376,593 pounds of drugs were collected nationwide, a 55 percent increase from the first take-back event held in September 2010.