Law enforcement agencies in the San Ramon Valley are set to join others across the country in holding Drug Take-Back Day collection drives this Saturday to offer residents the chance to safely dispose of unused, unwanted or expired prescription pills and medications.
The Danville and San Ramon police departments are hosting free and anonymous drop-off points at their respective offices from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
"This event encourages residents to get rid of unwanted pharmaceuticals, reducing the possibility of abuse or theft of drugs," Danville police chief Steve Simpkins said in a statement.
"This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue," the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office added in a statement.
"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," according to the sheriff's office, also reminding residents that medications should not be flushed down the toilet.
The Danville Drug Take-Back Day drop-off point, held in partnership with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, will take place at the police department at 510 La Gonda Way.
Officials there will accept pills and other solids such as patches, and liquids in consumer containers. Illicit drugs, intravenous solutions, needles and other sharps will not be accepted. Participants are asked to place the medications in a sealed bag for drop-off.
For those who can't attend the Take-Back Day, they can still dispose of pharmaceuticals, including sharps, in bins at the front desk of the Danville Police Department during regular business hours, Mondays through Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
San Ramon police are also hosting a drop-off event on Saturday at their department headquarters, 2401 Crow Canyon Road, Lt. Denton Carlson said.
The San Ramon department also offers a medication disposal bin in its lobby during regular business hours Mondays through Fridays. The regular bin accepts pills (removed from bottle and placed in a plastic baggie) as well as liquids, creams and gels in the original container.
San Ramon police do not accept sharps, lancets or EpiPens, but those can be turned in at the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District's administrative office at 1500 Bollinger Canyon Road in San Ramon.
Last fall, Americans turned in 447 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take-Back Day events, the DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds of pills, according to the sheriff's office.