RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County residents who want to get rid of expired, unused or unwanted drugs will have an opportunity to safely discard them at multiple locations Saturday during National Drug Take-Back Day.
The effort, organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, is intended to underscore the importance of taking commonly abused drugs out of circulation.
Saturday will be the second Take-Back Day of 2023. The first was in April.
“The drug overdose epidemic in the United States is a clear and present public health, public safety and national security threat,” according to a DEA statement. “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day reflects DEA’s commitment to Americans’ safety and health, encouraging the public to remove unneeded medications from their homes as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from starting.”
The agency began holding take-backs 13 years ago. Since its inaugural event, 8,650 tons of prescription and non-prescription drugs have been collected at thousands of disposal sites throughout the country, according to officials.
In 2022, an estimated 111,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly three- quarters of those deaths were from opioid use, principally the synthetic drug fentanyl, officials said.
“Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. continue to rise, as is the number of accidental poisonings,” the Riverside Police Department said in a statement. “According to a report published by the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, a majority of people who misused a prescription medication obtained the medicine from a family member or friend.”
The DEA noted that provisions in the federal Secure & Responsible Drug Disposal Act authorize pharmacies, hospitals and other facilities to serve as collection sites year-round.
County residents are invited to dispose of unwanted pills at the following sites between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday:
— Corona Police Department, parking lot, 730 Public Safety Way;
— De Anza Surgery Center, 4444 Magnolia Ave., Riverside;
— Murrieta Police Department, parking lot, 2 Town Square; and
— Riverside Police Department collection site, across from Kaiser Medical Center, 3660 Park Sierra Drive.
There was no immediate word on whether any Riverside County sheriff’s stations would be participating.
In addition to drugs, vaping pens and cartridges will also be accepted at drop-off locations.
No questions will be asked of people disposing of medications or other ingestible products. More information is available at http://www.dea.gov/takebackday.
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