Drug Enforcement Administration

San Francisco

Christopher Nielsen, Special Agent in Charge

April 24, 2017

Contact: Casey Rettig

Phone Number: (415) 436-7994

DEA Continues Its Drug Abuse Prevention Efforts With Prescription Drug Take Back Day This Saturday

Disposing of Unused Medications Prevents Drug Thefts, Abuse, and Overdoses

SAN FRANCISCO - Addictive prescription drugs that are thrown away or left untended on shelves and in drawers at home are often stolen and either abused or sold by family members and visitors.  That’s why the DEA and thousands of its state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners are holding another Prescription Drug Take Back Day this Saturday, April 29, from 10 am to 2 pm at more than 150 sites around Northern California. 

The service is free of charge, no questions asked. 

America is experiencing an epidemic of addiction, overdose, and death due to abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioid painkillers.  6.4 million Americans age 12 and over-2.4 percent of the population-abuse prescription drugs, according to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health released last fall, more than abuse cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, and methamphetamine combined.  Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, eclipsing deaths from motor vehicle crashes or firearms.  The majority of prescription drug abusers report that they obtain their drugs from friends and family, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Last October, Northern California residents turned in 10 (20,654 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 150 sites operated by the DEA and state and local law enforcement partners.  Overall, in its 12 previous Take Back events, DEA and its Northern California partners have taken in nearly 350,000 pounds of unused medication.  Nationwide, over 7.1 million pounds-more than 3,500 tons-of pills have been collected.  

Only pills and other solids, like patches, can be brought to the collection sites-liquids, needles, or other sharps will not be accepted.  NOTE:  This event will go on even if the Federal Government shuts down this weekend.

The public can find the collection site nearest to them by visiting www.dea.gov, clicking on the National Prescription Drug Take Back Day icon, and following the links to a database where they enter their zip code, call 800-882-9539, or visit us on Twitter @DEASanFrancisco and @DEAHQ. 

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