Brown Encourages Californians to Drop Off Unused Prescriptions During Drug Take-Back Day

Friday, September 24, 2010
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO -- Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. encourages Californians to participate in “Prescription Drug Take-Back Day” tomorrow (Saturday, September 25) by taking their expired, unwanted and unused prescriptions to an official drop-off center, “a safe and easy way” to ensure proper disposal.

“Flushing unused prescription drugs down the toilet puts dangerous drugs into our waterways,” Brown said, “and throwing them into the trash can result in prescriptions landing in the wrong hands. Take-Back Day is a safe and easy way to clear your cabinets of leftover medication.”

Unused prescription drugs left sitting in a medicine cabinet contribute to drug abuse, especially among teenagers. In June, the Centers for Disease Control released a study showing that one out of five high school students in America abuses prescription drugs.

Other recent studies show that prescription drug abuse is soaring. The 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that there are some 6.2 million non-medical users of prescription drugs in the United States, and there are more Americans abusing prescription drugs than abusing cocaine, heroin and hallucinogenics.

Tomorrow’s National Take-Back Day provides a safe alternative to fouling our lakes and rivers or creating a risk of prescription drugs falling into the wrong hands. Californians can bring prescription medications and over-the-counter tablets and capsules to any of the nearly 200 collection centers participating in the state. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s website has a listing of all drop-off locations at http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/takeback/

Collection centers are open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and staffed by law enforcement officials. The medications will be destroyed in accordance with federal and state regulations.

Intravenous solutions, injectables, needles and illicit substances such as marijuana or methamphetamine will not be accepted.

Brown's office has been at the forefront of efforts to combat prescription drug abuse in California. In addition to costing the state millions of dollars each year, prescription drug abuse can have serious public safety consequences. Many abusers hold down regular jobs, including driving trucks, operating transit vehicles, and working in medical facilities.

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