Residents can safely dispose of their potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs during a Drug Take Back event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, October 24 in front of Safeway Supermarket, 2970 Main St., Susanville offered by the Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. File photo

Drug Take Back event lets residents dispose of their unwanted prescription drugs this Saturday

The Lassen County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its 19th opportunity in 10 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24 in front of Safeway Supermarket, 2970 Main St., Susanville.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Liquids, needles or sharps cannot be accepted — only pills or patches.

Last fall, Americans turned in nearly 469 tons (more than 937,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and almost 5,000 of its state and local law enforcement partners.

In previous Take Back events, the DEA and its partners have taken in more than 11.8 million pounds — approximately 5,900 tons – of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse.

Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the 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.

In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines – flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash – both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the Oct. 24 Take Back Day event, go to DEATakeBack.com.

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