disposal-event-to-get-rid-of-unwanted,-expired-drugs-scheduled-for-saturday

Southland residents who want to get rid of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs will have an opportunity to discard them this weekend during National Drug Take-Back Day.

Residents will also be able to dispose of drug patches, syringes, vape pens, intravenous solutions and related products between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday at dozens of sites. The effort, organized by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with local law enforcement agencies, is intended to emphasize the importance of taking commonly abused drugs out of circulation.

“This event is a safe and convenient way for people to dispose of potentially harmful drugs, and in turn help to reduce the addiction rates and overdose deaths that are ripping through communities nationwide,” DEA Special Agent Bill Bodner said. “While this year’s event is a little different due to COVID-19, it’s still important for people to do their part and be a part of the solution by preventing prescription drug abuse.”

The DEA began holding drug take-backs 10 years ago to provide the public with a more secure means of disposal. During the take-back event last October, law enforcement agencies nationwide collected 882,919 pounds, or 442 tons, of discarded drugs, according to the DEA. No questions will be asked of people disposing of medications.

In addition to the DEA’s Take Back Day, prescription drugs can be disposed of at any of the 11,000 DEA-authorized collectors — including pharmacies and hospitals — at any time throughout the year. For more information, visit https://apps2.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/pubdispsearch/spring/main?execution=e1s1.

Typically, most law enforcement agencies participate in the annual Take-Back campaign, but because of the coronavirus public health lockdowns, fewer will be doing so this time around at police stations.

In Los Angeles County, locations include the San Gabriel, Downey, Montebello and Burbank police departments and the Santa Clarita sheriff’s station. Other designated drop-off sites include the Sam’s Club in Torrance, Whittier City Hall, the Walmart garden center lot at the Fallbrook Mall and Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Baldwin Park and on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.

In Orange County, sites include the Leisure World main gate in Seal Beach; the Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita city halls; Huntington Beach, Irvine, Cypress and Placentia police departments; Irvine Valley College; Hoag Health Center-Irvine; and Kaiser Permanente Anaheim Medical Center.

To find a collection site for Saturday drop-offs, visit www.deatakeback.com.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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