SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department has implicated a system that will assist people in disposing of their unused or expired prescription drugs in a safe manner, keeping them away from those who would abuse them as well as protecting the environment.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 52 million people have admitted to using prescription drugs for reasons other than medical problems. This problem continues with  high school seniors. One in twelve high school seniors will have taken Vicodin for non-medical reasons, as found in a “Monitoring the Future” survey taken by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

One in twenty students in this age bracket will try OxyContin. Of all drugs, prescription medicine is among the highest abused in young people, behind only alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco. Such drugs are addictive and those using them non-medically and without a prescription from a physician place themselves at risk. Individuals using prescription drugs for medical purposes have been advised to keep track of every pill to ensure others do not gain access to their medicine.

The SMPD has partnered with the Water Resource Protection Division of Public Works, to remind residents that there is a safe way to dispose of these drugs without them falling into the wrong hands. The Community Affairs Unit tells Canyon News that there is a kiosk directly in front of the Public Safety Facility on 333 Olympic Drive where un-opened prescription bottles can be disposed.

The kiosk is open every day of the year at any time. Opened bottles or needles are not to be disposed. Anyone with unused prescription drugs in their medicine cabinet is encouraged to use the kiosk than tossing them in the trash to protect both the youth, as well as the environment.