Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

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Photo ilustration courtesy of the DEA

On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Newport Beach Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its tenth opportunity in five years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially-dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Residents can bring medications for disposal to the OASIS Senior Center’s Overflow Parking Lot, at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Marguerite Avenue in Newport Beach. Not accepted: liquids, needles, or sharps, only pills or patches.

The service is free and anonymous; no questions asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 309 tons (over 617,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.

In its nine previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners took in more than 2,400 tons (over 4.8 million pounds) of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including their home medicine cabinets. The usual methods for disposing of unused medicines (flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash) pose potential safety and health hazards.

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