Attorney General Bonta Encourages Californians to Dispose of Unused, Expired, and Unneeded Prescription Medication During Upcoming Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

Collection sites throughout California will open on Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today, alongside Oakland Chief of Police LeRonne Armstrong, East Bay Agency for Children Chief Executive Officer Josh Leonard, and Fred Finch Youth & Family Services Center Regional Vice President Susanna Marshland urged Californians to participate in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, October 23, 2021. The effort, led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, including opioids, while educating the public about the potential for abuse of prescription drug medications. According to the California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard, in 2020, 5,363 deaths in California were related to an opioid overdose – a 120% increase from 2018.

“As a state and a nation, we continue to feel the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the role it has played in exacerbating the ongoing opioid epidemic,” said Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Many children and adults have experienced unimaginable trauma in the past year and a half, which is why it is important to protect yourself and your family from potential drug misuse by safely disposing of unused, expired, and unneeded prescription medication during Prescription Drug Take Back Day.”

“Keeping expired or unused medication can be a danger for our children and loved ones,” said Oakland Police Chief LeRonne L. Armstrong. “That’s why these collection sites are important and necessary when securing our homes and preventing abuse of prescription drugs.  I ask that you join me in using the collection sites and discarding any prescription drugs that are no longer needed.” 

“As a mental healthcare provider for youth, Fred Finch Youth & Family Services recognizes the importance of the take-back program in limiting youth access to drugs and reducing the risk of their using drugs as a coping mechanism,” said Susanna Marshland, Regional Vice President, Fred Finch Youth & Family Services.

“Drug addiction impacts not only the adult, but their children as well, who can suffer from instability and anxiety which left unaddressed will follow them into adulthood,” Josh Leonard, Chief Executive Officer, East Bay Agency for Children.

On Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., communities throughout California will host sites to collect unwanted, unused, or expired prescription drugs. This service is free and anonymous. For more information and to find the closest collection site to you, please visit

In April, during the 20th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, Californians dropped off 48,688 pounds of prescription drugs at 195 collection sites throughout the state. Nationwide, consumers returned over 800,000 pounds. In total, nearly 600 tons of prescription drugs have been collected in California since the program began in 2010.

Today’s announcement is part of an ongoing effort by Attorney General Bonta to protect California communities and fight the opioid crisis. Last month, the Attorney General announced he would appeal Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy reorganization plan in order to hold the Sackler family accountable for their role as a key contributor to the ongoing opioid public health crisis. In August, Attorney General Bonta announced a historic $26 billion settlement with Cardinal, McKesson, and AmerisourceBergen – the nation’s three major pharmaceutical distributors – and Johnson & Johnson, a company that manufactured and marketed opioids. The California Department of Justice also maintains California’s prescription drug monitoring program, CURES 2.0, which assists in efforts to curb prescription drug abuse.

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