Sunday, April 22 , 2018, 5:27 pm | Fair 68º


New Operation Medicine Cabinets Installed Throughout Santa Barbara County

The new OMC kiosks were made specifically for collecting unwanted prescription medications.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to announce that new and improved Operation Medicine Cabinet (OMC) drop-boxes have been installed at eight Sheriff’s stations located throughout Santa Barbara County.  

The purpose-built drug collection kiosks are designed to safely accept unneeded and expired medication that is properly packaged for disposal.  

Medications that are deposited in OMC kiosks should be kept in their original packaging if possible. Any loose pills or powders must be sealed within a Ziploc bag prior to being deposited in an OMC kiosk.  

Absolutely no sharps (such as needles or anything that can poke or cut someone) of any sort should be placed in the drop-boxes.  

If inappropriate materials are placed within the kiosks, it will jeopardize the safety of Sheriff’s personnel and can ultimately impact our ability to continue providing this important community program that allows community members to safely dispose of medication.

Expired and unused medications pose many risks.  

Teenagers and young adults can abuse medications they find. Young children and pets can 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.  

Medication that is flushed down the toilet or thrown in the trash can be harmful to the environment. 

Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to handle material often found in medications, therefore those chemicals 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 can potentially enter the environment.

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

Needles, hazardous waste and medical waste will not be accepted.

The Operation Medicine Cabinet drop-boxes are open 24-hours a day. The Sheriff's Office encourages you to find the location nearest you.

» 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

The Sheriff’s Office began participating in Operation Medicine Cabinet in 2010 and since that time has collected more than 30,000 pounds of medications.

For more information on Operation Medicine Cabinet visit

Kelly Hoover is the public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

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