On Saturday, the Danville Police Department teamed up with the DEA for a prescription drug take-back event at police headquarters. The event gave residents an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescriptions.
Residents turned in 115 pounds of medication, said Community Services Coordinator Claudia Ray. The free, anonymous event is designed to reduce the possibility of abuse or theft of prescription drugs.
The DEA incinerated more than 18 tons of prescription drugs Tuesday, which were collected at 226 collection sites from Bakersfield to the California-Oregon border, according to DEA field office Spokesman Karl Nichols.
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 medicinesflushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trashpose potential safety and health hazards.
To combat this epidemic, the Danville Police Department has a prescription drug and syringe drop-off bin at its offices (510 La Gonda Way). Residents can drop off medications Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.; officers ask that medications be emptied into Ziploc bags and the containers disposed of separately.
In the five previous take-back events, state, local and federal partners collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications. Danville's last take-back event netted 120 pound of prescription medications.
Ray said the department will host another collection day in six months.