SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department will be hosting the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, October 28. The event will take place from 10:00 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The event is part of a nation-wide program sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The program will allow Santa Monica residents to get rid of any “expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.” This will be the fourteenth time the event has been hosted in seven years.
According to a press release issued by Lt. Saul Rodriguez of the SMPD, the service is free, anonymous, and no questions will be asked. The DEA cannot accept needles or liquids, only pills or patches.
Last April, Americans turned in 450 tons (900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at close to 5,500 sites operated by the DEA, with over 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. During the last 13 previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 8.1 million pounds more than 4,050 tons of pills.
Rates of accidental overdoses and prescription drug abuse have increased in the U.S. in recent years. The DEA administers the Take Back program in the hopes of curtailing risks associated with opioids and pills, such as substance abuse or misuse.
Studies have shown that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose safety and health hazards.
Participants can bring pills for disposal to the Santa Monica Public Safety Facility located at 333 Olympic Drive, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
Interested participants can learn more about the program at the DEA website: https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html