PSA: Prescription drug takeback in Scotts Valley Saturday

April 25, 2013

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Scotts Valley Police to collect potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs on Saturday, April 27.

Representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration also will be on hand for the drug collection, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Scotts Valley Police Department, 1 Civic Center Drive, Scotts Valley. The service is free and anonymous.

Saturday marks National Prescription Drug Takeback Day.

According to the DEA, in the five previous take-back events, the agency “in conjunction with our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners have collected more than 2 million pounds — or 1,018 tons — of prescription medications and removed them from circulation.”

In a press release, Acting DEA Special Agent in Charge Bruce C. Balzano stated “Proper disposal of unused pharmaceuticals saves lives and protects the environment.”

DEA officials say unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern, because they are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, diversion, misuse, and abuse.  A recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined.  The survey also found that the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

It’s also a bad idea to toss unused pills down the toilet as they can get into our water systems. A 2008 study by the Associated Press found a vast array of pharmaceuticals including antibiotics and mood stabilizers in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans. There’s also evidence to suggest this water pollution may have negative affects on wildlife.

 

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