To prevent pill abuse and theft, the public is being given another opportunity to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.
In conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Murrieta Police Department is hosting a Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29.
Residents may brings their medications for disposal to the front lobby of the Murrieta Police Department at 2 Town Square.
"The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked," said Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad, in a news release.
At a similar event in the past, Murrieta police collected more than 100 pounds of unused prescription drugs, according to the DEA.
In April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds (276 tons)of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 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 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 in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.
Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” 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. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act.
Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the Murrieta Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.
Any questions about this event may be directed to Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad at 951-461-6309.
—Murrieta Police Department news release