Did you know that Americans fill 3.7 billion prescriptions every year? While many of these medications are taken as prescribed, many others go unused and end up taking up space in our medicine cabinets. In order to provide residents with a safe and convenient way to dispose of medications, the Drug Enforcement Agency has scheduled another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. On Saturday April 27, the DEA will be partnering with local law enforcement agencies to collect unused or expired medications from the public. Residents can drop off their unused medications between 10am and 2pm at one of nearly 40 drop off sites in San Diego County.
By properly disposing of unused medication, you are not just protecting your family but also protecting the local environment. Simply throwing old medication in the trash or flushing it down the toilet can have harmful effects on the environment; it pollutes our waters, impacts aquatic species, and contaminates our food and water supplies. Recent studies by United States Geographical Survey have found active pharmaceutical ingredients present in some groundwater and drinking water sources, some portion of which is likely due to flushing medications. Both the EPA and the FDA encourage the use of a medicine take-back program, like the National Take-Back Day, as it is the safest and most environmentally friendly way to dispose of unused medication. The previous five collection days have collected a total of two-million pounds of unused medication, helping to keep pharmaceuticals out of the environment. To find a drop off location near you, visit the National Take-Back Initiative website.
If you are unable to make it to one of the drop off locations on April 27, visit WasteFreeSD.org to find a location that collects unused medications year round. Secure collection boxes have been installed at several sheriff’s stations throughout San Diego County, giving residents a convenient way to properly dispose of old medication.
For more information about the proper disposal of medication or for other questions about recycling, visit WasteFreeSD.org today!