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Don't let unused prescription drugs fall into the wrong hands


October 24, 2011
Kim Brown – (916) 574-8167

SACRAMENTO – Consumers around the country will have a free opportunity to dispose of expired or unused prescription drugs during National Drug Take Back Day, Saturday, October 29th.

Local law enforcement offices in California and around the nation will be collecting prescription drugs from 10 am to 2 pm that day. The service is anonymous, free, and no questions asked. Collection sites in every community can be found at

"It's important to safely dispose of medication you're no longer using," said Pharmacy Board Executive Officer Virginia Herold. "Unused or expired prescription drugs can pose health and safety hazards. Pills in the home medicine cabinet are an easy mark for theft and abuse."

Prescription drug abuse is on the rise, especially abuse of pain relievers such as OxyContin. Among teenagers, prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused drug type, behind marijuana. Each day, approximately 2,500 teens use prescription drugs to get high for the first time according to studies by the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Studies show that teens who abuse prescription medications often get them from the home medicine cabinet, family and friends.

The Board of Pharmacy advises consumers to limit access to all medicines in order to prevent drug abuse. Keep young children from accidentally taking medicines by ensuring the child-resistant caps are on securely.

For home disposal of prescription drugs, consumers are advised to read the federal guidelines for correct disposal at

Drug Take Back Day–an initiative of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)–began last year. DEA, in conjunction state and local law enforcement agencies, have held two Take Back days and have collected more than 309 tons of pills for safe disposal.

The Board of Pharmacy protects and promotes the health and safety of Californians by pursuing the highest quality of pharmacist's care and the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals through education, communication, licensing, legislation, regulation, and enforcement. Learn more about the board at

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