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Got Drugs? Police Collecting Unused Prescription Medications for National Take Back Day

Expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs can be dropped off at the San Ramon Police Department on April 26 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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Patch photo archive
On April 26, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the San Ramon Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.  

Bring your medications for disposal to the San Ramon Police Department, located at 2401 Crow Canyon Road.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.   

Last October, Americans turned in 647,211 pounds (324 TONS) of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and 4,114 state and local law enforcement partners. This is the second ­largest collection of medications in seven Take Back Days. When the results of the seven events to date are combined, the DEA and its state, local, and tribal law ­enforcement and community partners have removed over 3.4 million pounds (1,733 tons) of medication from circulation.    

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 U.S. 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 away in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.  

To give people a more environmentally responsible and secure way to dispose of their meds, DEA launched its first Take­Back event in September 2010. Four days later, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the CSA to allow people and, in some instances, long term care facilities to regularly, conveniently, and safely dispose of their CS medications by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them.

DEA is in the process of finalizing regulations to implement the Act. The DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act, a process that can take as long as 24 months.

Until the new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the San Ramon Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take ­back events every few months.   

—Information submitted by San Ramon Police

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