The growing prescription drop-off program that allows individuals to dispose of unused medications in a safe manner will soon have a site in Turlock.
The City of Turlock will be partnering with the Stanislaus County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services to open a secured prescription drug collection box at the Public Safety Facility at 244 N. Broadway. The secure box will be located in the lobby and is meant for unwanted, unused and expired prescription medications.
The collection box is an extension of the nationwide drug take back events sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Over the years the DEA has collected more than 4.1 million pounds of prescription medications.
The non-medical use of controlled substance medications is at an all-time high, with 6.8 million Americans reporting having abused prescription drugs in 2012, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health released in 2013. That same study revealed more than 54 percent of people who abuse prescription pain relievers got them through friends or relatives, a statistic that includes raiding the family medicine cabinet. The most common prescription medications being abused throughout the nation are opiate based medications generally referred to as painkillers. Studies have shown that abuse of painkillers is often the gateway for heroin use.
Studies have shown that disposing of prescription medications by flushing them down a toilet or throwing them in the garbage can have a negative impact on the environment.
The drop off box is expected to be installed in the near future. The Turlock City Council first had to approve a city ordinance that allows for the police department to possess and dispose of controlled substances. The ordinance was passed Tuesday night 5-0.