Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Issues Consumer Alert on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Friday, September 25, 2015
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SAN FRANCISCO - Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today issued a consumer alert to inform Californians that tomorrow, Saturday September 26, is the 10th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, an initiative led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with local law enforcement. Take-Back Day serves to provide individuals with accessible, responsible, and safe options for disposing of prescription drugs.  Unwanted, unused, and/or expired prescription drugs can be disposed, with no questions asked, at more than 325 collection sites throughout California.

Prescription drugs in the home are highly susceptible to abuse. Studies have shown that as much as 70% of persons who first misuse prescription drugs obtained the medication from their friends or relatives. Prescription drugs are also a leading cause of accidental poisoning and overdose. Data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control indicate that 51.8% of drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2013 were related to prescription drugs.

By clearing out medicine cabinets of unwanted and expired prescription drugs, Californians can actively combat prescription drug abuse by reducing availability and thus minimizing the risk of abuse. Not all medications can be safely disposed at home, and consumers should always check the labels on their medicines for instructions on the safe disposal of unused medication. But consumers can eliminate any uncertainty over how to dispose of their medication by bringing it to a take-back day event. They can anonymously dispose of prescription drugs and ensure that they will be safely discarded.

Drug Drop-Off Locations

On Saturday, September 26, from 10pm-2pm, special collection sites will be open across California. Last year, over 56,695 pounds (28 tons) of prescription drugs were dropped off at Take-Back Day collection sites in California alone.

This service is free and anonymous for consumers. For more information and to find the closest collection site to you, please visit: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html and click on “Locate a Collection Site.”

Additional Information and Resources

For information on year-round options for recycling medication, please visit: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/HomeHazWaste/Medications/household.htm

For information on disposing unused medication, please visit: http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/EnsuringSafeUseofMedicine/SafeDisposalofMedicines/ucm186187.htm#Flush_List

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