SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will host the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday, April 28. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., where the public will receive the opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

Pills can be brought for disposal to the Santa Monica Public Safety Facility located at 333 Olympic Drive in Santa Monica. The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, and no questions will be asked.

According to a press release from the SMPD, on November 2017, Americans turned in 456 tons (912,305 pounds to be exact) of prescription drugs at more than 5300 collection sites operated by the DEA and its state and local law enforcement partners. In the past 14 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 9 million pounds more than 4,500 tons of pills.

The initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. have risen, and 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 from the home medicine cabinet. Americans are advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more details about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 28 Take Back Day event, visit the DEA Diversion website.