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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Is Sept. 26

Drop Off Unused and Expired Medication at Nearest Drop-Box

Drop boxes for expired and unused prescription drugs are available 24/7 outside the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department headquarters and seven other locations countywide.
Drop boxes for expired and unused prescription drugs are available 24/7 outside the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department headquarters and seven other locations countywide. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging residents to participate in the 10th annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, Sept. 26, by dropping off expired and unused medication at one of eight Sheriff’s Office drop-box locations.

Please find the location nearest you and use this opportunity to properly dispose of medication in your home.

For those with questions, a sheriff’s deputy will be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at drop boxes located at sheriff’s headquarters in Santa Barbara and at the Solvang sub-station.

A community resource deputy will also be available at the Lemon Festival in Goleta to answer questions, although there will not be a drop-box at that location.

The Sheriff’s Office is pleased to participate in the Drug Enforcement Agency’s national event as part of our continued mission to safely dispose of medication in Santa Barbara County.

The Sheriff’s Office began participating in Operation Medicine Cabinet in 2010 by placing drop-boxes in front of eight of its stations, and since that time has collected more than 30,000 pounds of medications.

Expired and unused medications pose many risks. Teenagers and young adults are abusing medications, some taken right from their parents’ or grandparents’ medicine cabinet.

Young children and pets accidentally ingest medications found around the home, leading to potential poisoning. Seniors can mistakenly mix incompatible medications or take expired drugs that may be harmful to them.

It is also extremely important that medication is disposed of properly and that it is not flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash. Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to handle material often found in medications, therefore they pass untreated into our water system.

Medications thrown in the trash can be picked up by individuals and pets when sent to the landfill and they can potentially enter the environment.

The following items can be accepted: over-the-counter medications, prescription medications, medication samples, medications for household pets, medicated lotions or ointments, liquid medication in leak-proof containers.

The following items can’t be accepted: needles, hazardous waste and medical waste.

» The collection locations are as follows:

» Carpinteria: 5775 Carpinteria Avenue

» Santa Barbara: 4434 Calle Real

» Goleta: 7042 Market Place Drive

» Isla Vista: 6504 Trigo Road

» Lompoc: 3500 Harris Grade

» Buellton: 140 W. Highway 246

» Solvang: 1745 Mission Drive

» Santa Maria: 812-A West Foster Road

In addition to Saturday’s event, residents can dispose of their medications throughout the year any day or night at any of our eight drop-box locations.

For more information on Operation Medicine Cabinet, visit our website at

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