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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Monday, September 15, 2014

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, September 27, 2014, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

SANTA BARBARA, CA – September 15, 2014

On Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Santa Barbara Police Department will be partnering with the US Drug Enforcement Administration to hold another National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

This is an opportunity for those who have accumulated unwanted, unused prescription drugs, to safely dispose of those medications.

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 US 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. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medications—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.

Last April, Americans turned in 390 tons (over 780,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at nearly 6,100 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,400 of its state and local law enforcement partners. When those results are combined with what was collected in its eight previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 4.1 million pounds—more than 2,100 tons—of medication. During the last event in Santa Barbara 4 garbage bags full of prescription medications were collected in four hours.

The collection location in the City of Santa Barbara will be at the La Cumbre Plaza Mall, 121 S. Hope Avenue. Beat Coordinator Officer Jonathan Reyes will be there and will have collection boxes setup to collect pills or medicated patches (no liquids, needles, or sharps) on the mall walkway near Starbucks Coffee. This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. Everyone is invited to stop by, to chat with Officer Reyes, and to deposit unwanted medications for safe destruction.

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