The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in partnership with local law enforcement, government and the community, will provide the opportunity for individuals to safely dispose of unwanted and unused prescription drugs during its National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28, 2012, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Drop off location for Santa Clarita is the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s station at 23740 W. Magic Mountain Parkway.
Americans who participated in the DEA’s third National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in 2011, turned in more than 377,086 pounds (188.5 tons) of unwanted or expired medications for safe and proper disposal at the 5,327 take-back sites that were available in all 50 states and U.S. territories.
In addition to preventing drug misuse, the DEA event benefits the community for several important reasons while also increasing public awareness of this critical health issue, according to Gerald Subar, director of pharmacy services at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.
“If prescription medications are expired, they might not be as potent or as effective as they should be,” Subar said. “Another reason is you don’t want medications used by someone other than whom they were prescribed for. And finally, properly disposing of the medications through the DEA program avoids flushing them down the toilet where they could contaminate the environment.”
For more information, call Sgt. Darren Harris, 661-799-5814.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, enough prescription painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate every American adult around-the-clock for one month. Often, some of these medicines languish in the home and are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that the majority of teens who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from family and friends for free, including from the home medicine cabinet. Many Americans simply do not know how to properly dispose of their unused or expired medicine, often flushing it down the toilet or throwing it away. These methods can pose both safety and environmental hazards.