Gaspar Leads Drug Take Back Day

Safely Discard Old Prescriptions Saturday During National Drug Take Back Day

San Diego County will partner with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Saturday to participate in the agency’s 17th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The DEA began the take back program in 2010 and has since held collection events every April and October. During the last take back event, participants turned in nearly one million pounds of prescription drugs at more than 10,000 sites around the U.S.

“Prevention through education and action gets the best results,” said county Supervisor Kristin Gaspar. “All of us have an opportunity to save a life today.”

Turning in unwanted, expired and unused pills is safer than throwing them away or flushing them down a toilet, according to the DEA, because residents can ensure that the pills will be properly disposed of and won’t have any adverse effect on the environment or public health.

Data from the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that roughly 6 million Americans misused prescription drugs, and many obtained them from the medicine cabinets in their homes or from a friend or family member.

“You will help prevent your medications from being misused and abused by others and DEA will safely dispose of them without harming the environment,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Karen Flowers. “It is free and anonymous. Make a stand against addiction.”

The DEA, the county and local law enforcement agencies will collect unused prescription drugs at more than 60 locations around the county from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A full list of collection sites can be found online at Residents can also drop off unused or unwanted prescription drugs at any county sheriff’s location throughout the year.