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Free prescription drug disposal to be offered by Citrus Heights police on Oct. 26

prescription drugs, take back day
Image credit: Bmramon at en.wikipedia [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

By Thomas J. Sullivan–
On Saturday, Oct. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Citrus Heights Police Department will participate in the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) “Drug Take Back Day” giving the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

CHPD is encouraging the public to drop off their unused or unwanted prescription pills or patches at police headquarters at 6315 Fountain Square Drive for disposal. The service is free and anonymous, and no questions are asked, according to Community Service Officer Larissa Wasilevsky.

According to information provided in a press release by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, Americans turned in nearly 469 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites last fall operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 17 previous national “Take Back” events, the DEA and its partners, according to their accounting, took in more than 11.8 million pounds of pills.

DEA studies show medicines which languish in home cabinets without proper disposal “are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.”

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national survey on Drug Use and Health shows “a majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet.”

Wasilevsky said past practices of “disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.”

 “We appreciate if everyone will take the time to bring them in during ‘Drug Take Back Day’ for collection and to keep them out of the hands of people who might potentially abuse them.”

Wasilevsky added that a new public medication drop off container in the lobby of police headquarters at 6315 Fountain Square Drive will be made available soon for local residents “once all of the necessary handling and disposal procedures by the department have been worked out.”

For now, the large, white mailbox-style container sitting in the police lobby remains locked.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct.r 26 “Take Back Day” event, contact the Citrus Heights Police Department’s non-emergency number at (916) 727-5500.

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