The Santa Clara Police Department is teaming up with the Drug Enforcement Administration for a free, anonymous event on Saturday, Oct. 26 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Campaign lets people safely dispose dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs – no questions asked.
According to information provided by Lieutenant Kurt Clarke of the SCPD, “Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” and the take-back event provides a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription medications.
As the abuse of prescription drugs continues to rise, it is increasingly vital that residents properly dispose of unused medications. Statistics from the 2012 National Survey on Drug Use and Health say that “almost twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently abuse prescription drugs than [abuse] cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined.” The study also says that most of the drugs are obtained from family and friends, and many of the drugs being abused come directly from the home medicine cabinet.
In the past, Santa Clarans, as well as other Americans, have disposed of their unused medications by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, but both of these pose potential safety and health hazards. While the FDA has determined that flushing medications does not pose a threat to the environment, the best way to discard the majority of prescription drugs is to bring them to Saturday’s event.
When the DEA teamed up with state and local law enforcement partners for this campaign last April, over 371 tons (742,497 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites. In the past six events, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 1,400 tons (2.8 million pounds) of pills.
Going forward, the DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that will implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, amending the Controlled Substances Act to allow the “ultimate user,” including patients, pets, family members or owners, of controlled substance medications, “to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General.” The act will also allow the Attorney General to authorize long-term care facilities to “dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.”
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Campaign will be held at the Santa Clara Police Department, 601 El Camino Real.