The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will give the public its 20th opportunity in over 10 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal on Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to the Highland Police Station. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, the public turned in 985,392 pounds — 492.7 tons of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at close to 4,600 collection sites all across the country. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 13,684,848 pounds or 6,842.4 tons.

Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to potential accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdose. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. 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. Also, 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. “Educating the public on the proper disposal of unused medicines has led to over 492.7 tons of prescription drugs being turned in. The success of this program is evident; I believe residents are aware of this service and plan for it,” said San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will have nine stations participating with the collection of these unused prescription medications. They will be open from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 24, and no appointment is necessary. Highland Police Station 26985 Base Line is a participating site.

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