CDPH Encourages Consumers to Participate in Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that consumers who have prescription drugs that are no longer needed or are expired can safely dispose of them on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, October 27.

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft or misuse. The proper disposal of unused drugs protects the environment and helps save lives.

“Too often, unused prescription drugs find their way into the wrong hands leading to tragedy,” said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. “We know that the majority of abused prescription drugs are from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends. The Take-Back event is a valuable opportunity for everyone to help keep their loved ones safe.”

Visit the Drug Enforcement Administration website for locations throughout California or by calling, toll-free, (800) 882-9539. Events throughout the state run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no charge.

Consumers can anonymously drop off pills and other solids, such as patches and well-sealed liquids. There will be no collection of sharps waste, such as needles and syringes at these sites.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

During the National Prescription Drug Take-Back event in April, federal, state and local law enforcement partners across the country collected 474.5 tons of unwanted prescription drugs: Californians disposed of more than 34 tons of unwanted drugs, second only to Texas. Please go to the CDPH YouTube channel to view the Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Video.

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