SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today urged Californians to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, October 28, 2023. The effort, led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, including opioids, while educating the public about the potential for abuse of prescription drug medications. According to the California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, in 2022, 6,595 deaths in California were related to an opioid overdose.
“After we recover from an illness or injury, we often have leftover prescription drugs that sit in our medicine cabinets forgotten. National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a perfect opportunity for Californians to safely dispose of these unused medications,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “During National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, you can drop off unwanted medications at safe disposal sites in your community. Safe disposal of these prescription drugs helps protect against drug misuse and diversion, and prevents these potent medications from ending up places they don’t belong – like in our soil or groundwater. I encourage all Californians to clean out their medicine cabinets and safely dispose of unneeded medications at the 25th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday.”
On Saturday, October 28, 2023, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., communities throughout California will host sites to collect unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs. This service is free and anonymous. For more information and to find the closest collection site to you, please visit takebackday.dea.gov.
In April, during the 24th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Californians dropped off 40,573 pounds of prescription drugs at 201 collection sites throughout the state. Nationwide, consumers returned over 650,000 pounds during the 24th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. In total, nearly 1,344,373 pounds of prescription drugs have been collected in California since the program began in 2010.
Today’s announcement is part of an ongoing effort by Attorney General Bonta to protect California communities and fight the opioid crisis. Attorney General Bonta is addressing this challenge through an all-in, multifaceted approach using ongoing enforcement, litigation, and effective public policy strategies for prevention. California DOJ works with law enforcement partners to take fentanyl out of communities and hold poison peddlers accountable. Since April 2022, the California DOJ has seized approximately 9,348,852 fentanyl pills seized, 1,213 pounds of powder seized, and over 200 arrests. This includes a Placer County arrest leading to the first-in-the-state homicide conviction against a fentanyl dealer for providing a lethal dose leading to the death of a 15-year-old girl. In addition to this on-the-ground work, Attorney General Bonta continues advancing effective public policy and working with national partners to hold the opioid industry accountable for their role in creating the opioid crisis and its impacts. To date, California DOJ has secured over $33 billion through nationwide settlements, including up to $2.6 billion for California, bringing needed funding back to communities for treatment and prevention strategies.