The Signal Hill Police Department (SHPD) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs on Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10am to 2pm during their Drug Take-Back event. The public may take in medications for disposal to the SHPD, 1800 E Hill St., during the service, which is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
During the previous four Drug Take-Back initiatives, more than 774 tons of medications were collected nationwide, of which more than 58,000 pounds were collected in the greater Los Angeles area alone.
According to the SHPD, medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse, and rates of prescription drug abuse in the US are 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.
Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled-substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the attorney general to accept them. The Act also allows the attorney general to authorize long-term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. The DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act, a process that can take as long as 24 months. Until new regulations are in place, local law-enforcement agencies like the Signal Hill Police Department and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.