Sunday is National Prescription Take Back Day

Safely dispose of unused medications at the National Prescription Take Back Day. Heather Wieshlow/Lariat 

The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration is working with law enforcement agencies across the country to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of prescription drugs during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Sunday. The event also educates the public about the potential for medication abuse.

“Most people who misuse prescription drugs get them from family, friends, and acquaintances,” said Kimberly Sawyer, Crime Prevention Specialist of Laguna Niguel. “You can make a difference by keeping track of the medicine you have, by rethinking where and how you keep your medications in your home, and by safely disposing of any unused medications.”

The event takes place on Sunday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at these Orange County locations: Mission Viejo City Hall, Laguna Niguel City Hall, Rancho Santa Margarita City Hall, Laguna Woods City Hall and Yorba Linda Police Services.

Prescription drugs can be dropped off at drive thru drop off boxes located in the parking lots and the service is free and anonymous. All pills will be accepted, however, sharps, marijuana and pressure canisters will not be accepted during the event.

Last year, the event began accepting vaping devices and cartridges at all drop off locations in addition to medications due to the increase in lung injuries and deaths attributed to vaping use.

Americans nationwide dropped off nearly 883,000 pounds of medications during October 2019 Take Back event. The Drug Enforcement Administration, along with its law enforcement partners, have collected almost 12.7 million pounds of expired, unused and unwanted prescription medications since the inception of the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative in 2010.

In 2019, it is estimated that 4.22 billion retail prescriptions were filled throughout the United States. Studies show that most abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, and often were taken from home medicine cabinets.