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Prescription drug disposal

POSTED October 10, 2013 10:22 p.m.

The Turlock Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs by hosting a free disposal event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Public Safety Center at 244 N. Broadway Avenue. The service is free and anonymous and no questions are asked. 

Last April, Americans turned in 371 tons (over 742,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at over 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its six previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2.8 million pounds—more than 1,400 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 U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including 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. 

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