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Santa Monica Residents Get Chance Saturday to Rid Homes of Unwanted Prescription Drugs


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By Lookout Staff

October 27, 2017 -- Santa Monica residents have a chance Saturday to dispose of "expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs," Santa Monica police announced Thursday.

The "Take Back Day" event -- sponsored by the Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) -- will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Santa Monica Public Safety Facility, 333 Olympic Drive.

The service, which has been offered 14 times over the past seven years, is intended "to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous" prescription drugs, police said.

"The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked," police said.

Officials ask participants to note that the DEA cannot accept liquids or needles, only pills or patches.

In the last 13 Take Back events, DEA and its law enforcement partners have taken in more than 8.1 million pounds, or more than 4,050 tons of pills, DEA officials said.

During the latest event in April, Americans turned in 900,000 pounds, or 450 tons, of prescription drugs at nearly 5,500 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 partnering state and local law enforcement agencies.

"This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue," officials said in a statement. "Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse."

DEA officials say the rates of prescription drug abuse and the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs in the U.S. are "alarmingly high."

Most of the abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from home medicine cabinets, studies have shown.

The common means for disposing of unused medicines by "flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash" pose potential safety and health hazards, officials said.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 28 Take Back Day event, go to the DEA Diversion website.


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