The Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) will once again join forces with Long Beach Memorial Medical Center to participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Pharmaceutical Take-Back initiative, along with several other law-enforcement agencies around the nation.
This initiative seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft through the collection of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The last event in September of 2012 yielded 585 pounds of pharmaceuticals, according to the LBPD.
The event will offer a drive-through service that is free and anonymous. The drivers of the 25th, 50th, 75th, and 100th participating vehicle will be awarded a pair of tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific. The event will be Saturday, April 27 from 10am to 2pm at Long Beach Memorial, 2801 Atlantic Ave. Drivers should enter the main campus entrance off of Atlantic Avenue, drive through campus on Memorial Medical Center Drive and exit onto Long Beach Boulevard.
According to the LBPD, this initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medications that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, LBPD said. Prescription-drug abuse in the United States is increasing, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to their availability. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from home medicine cabinets. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medications, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away– both potential safety and health hazards.
Once collected, the unwanted pharmaceuticals will be turned over to the DEA, who will safely destroy the drugs, the LBPD says. For more information regarding the National Take Back Initiative, visit dea.gov or contact the LBPD’s Drug Investigations Section at (562) 570-7221.