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Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

For Safety’s Sake, Turn in Your Unwanted, Unused Meds

The Santa Barbara Police Department will partner with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to hold an annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, April 29.

This is an opportunity for those who have accumulated unwanted and/or unused prescription drugs to safely dispose of those medications.

The initiative addresses a vital public health and safety issue. Medicines that sit forgotten in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these disregarded medications. Studies show 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 medications — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential environmental, safety and health hazards.

During the previous Take-Back event in April 2016, the DEA and its partners collected 893,498 pounds — about 447 tons — of medication throughout the U.S., demonstrating the value of this service.

The collection location in Santa Barbara will be at La Cumbre Plaza Mall, 121 S. Hope Ave., between Starbucks and the center court fountain.

Beat coordinators OfficersAdrian Gutierrez and Bryan Kerr will be there, and will have collection boxes set up to collect pills or medicated patches (no liquids, needles, or sharps).

This service is free and anonymous — no questions asked. Everyone is invited to stop by to meet the officers and deposit unwanted medications for safe destruction.  

For those unable to attend Saturday's event, unwanted medications may also be disposed of throughout the year in the drug disposal box inside the Santa Barbara Police Department lobby, 215 E. Figueroa St.

Information regarding the disposal of liquid medications, needles, or sharps can be found here:

— Anthony Wagner for Santa Barbara Police Department.

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