The Santa Monica Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is opening its doors for unused prescription drugs Saturday.
The event will take place at the Public Safety Facility, front curb, at 333 Olympic Drive, April 30, from 10am to 2pm.
The event is aimed at providing an opportunity to prevent prescription drug abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last September, Americans turned in 350 tons, over 702,000 pounds, of prescription drugs at more than 5,000 sites operated by the DEA and more than 3,800 sites operated by state and local law enforcement partners. In its 10 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 5.5 million pounds, more than 2,750 tons, of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines, flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both pose potential safety and health hazards.
The DEA is in the process of approving new regulations that implement the Safe and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user”, a patient or pet or their family member or owner, of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances.