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More Than 7,500 lbs Collected in County During Prescription Drug Take Back Day

San Diego County CA—  The final tally is in from the 12th National Prescription Take-Back Day this past Saturday, October 22, 2016.  DEA and its partners took back prescription drugs at 39 locations in San Diego County and four locations in Imperial County.

Over the course of four hours, 7,987.8 pounds or almost 4 tons of drugs were turned into the locations in both counties.  San Diego Citizens turned in 7,572.5 pounds and Imperial County citizens turned in 415.3 pounds of prescription drugs.

“We are pleased to see that Southern Californians are motivated and continue to make their homes safer for our youth,” says DEA San Diego Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman.  “Citizens can now take advantage of the permanent drop-off boxes at over 38 locations in San Diego County in the stations of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, the San Diego Police Department, Oceanside Police Department, Escondido Police Department, Carlsbad Police Department, Coronado Police Department and the Chula Vista Police Department.  We thank all our law enforcement partners in this effort.”

In the U.S., the public turned in 731,269 pounds—almost 366 tons—of medication to DEA and more than 4,000 of its community partners at almost 5,200 collection sites nationwide. Over the life of the program, 7.1 million pounds (more than 3,500 tons) of prescription drugs have been removed from medicine cabinets, kitchen drawers, and nightstands by citizens around the country.

“Take back programs offer a safe, simple, and anonymous way to keep dangerous prescription drugs out of the wrong hands and prevent substance abuse,” said Chuck Rosenberg, Acting DEA Administrator.

Unused medicines in the home are a problem because the majority of the 6.4 million Americans who abused CPDs in 2015, including the almost 4 million who abused prescription painkillers, say they obtained those drugs from friends and family, including from a home medicine cabinet, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health released last month. Some painkiller abusers move on to heroin: Four out of five new heroin users started with painkillers. Almost 30,000 people—78 a day—died from overdosing on these painkillers or heroin in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the last two years since new regulations made the disposal of CPDs easier for patients and their caregivers, many law enforcement agencies, pharmacies, hospitals, and clinics have begun continuous collection of these medications. To visit one of these thousands of collection sites between Take Back Days, go to https://apps.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1 or www.rxdrugdropbox.org.

Other local participants in this initiative include the San Diego County Sheriff’s, La Mesa Police Department, El Cajon Police Department, Chula Vista Police Department, Carlsbad Police Department, Oceanside Police Department, Coronado Police Department, Escondido Police Department, Rx Drug Abuse Task Force, SDSU Police Department, Veterans Administration Police, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, US Attorney’s Office, SD County Probation, US Probation, California Department of Justice, Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force, HIDTA, California Border Alliance Group, San Diego Police Department, United States Marine Corps, US Navy, San Diego Community College Police Department, San Diego County Supervisor Dave Roberts, SD County Health & Human Services, Californians for Drug Free Youth, and San Diego County Prevention Coalitions, Calexico Police Department, Imperial Police Department, El Centro Police Department, Brawley Police Department, Calipatria Police Department, California Highway Patrol, Imperial County Sheriff’s Office and Imperial County Office of Education.

For more information about Prescription Drug Abuse, please visit www.dea.gov.