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Office of Public Affairs

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CDPH Encourages Consumers to Participate in
Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Date: October 23, 2017
Number: 17-075
Contact: Corey Egel | 916.440.7259 |

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that consumers who have prescription drugs that are no longer needed or are expired can dispose of them safely on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, October 28.

Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft or misuse. Additionally, medications that are disposed of improperly can create a hazard for the environment.

"The Take-Back event is an important opportunity to anonymously and properly dispose of unused medication," said CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith. "The proper disposal of prescription medication is critical for a variety of reasons, including ensuring that the medication will not be used inadvertently or inappropriately by others."

Visit the Drug Enforcement Administration website for locations throughout California or by calling, toll-free, (800) 882-9539. Events throughout the state run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no charge.
Consumers can anonymously drop-off pills and other solids, such as patches and well-sealed liquids. There will be no collection of sharps waste, such as needles and syringes at these sites.

According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused prescription drugs were from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet.

"We know that the majority of abused prescription drugs are from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends. We encourage all Californians to look at what is in the medicine cabinet and use this opportunity to safely drop off medications," said Dr. Smith.

Overall, federal, state and local law enforcement partners have collected more than four-thousand tons of unwanted prescription medications in the past 13 National Prescription Drug Take-Back Days.

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