Take back drugs day is Saturday, April 24

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 20th opportunity in over 10 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your pills for disposal between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, April 24,. to any one nine collection sites throughout San Bernardino County, including the Highland Police Station at 26985 Baseline and Central Station at 655 E. Third St., San Bernardino. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last October, the public turned in 985,392 pounds — about 492.7 tons — of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at close to 4,600 collection sites all across the country. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the fall of 2010 to 13.7 million pounds or 6,842.4 tons.

Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to potential accidental poisoning, misuse and overdose. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. 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 U.S. 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. Also, 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.

“Educating the public on the proper disposal of unused medicines has led to over 492.7 tons of prescription drugs being turned in,” said Sheriff John McMahon. “The success of this program is evident; I believe residents are aware of this service and plan for it.”

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will have nine stations participating with the collection of these unused prescription medications. No appointment is necessary.

The participating sites are listed below: The Needles Station will be open on Friday, April 23rd from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.

Collection sites

  • Barstow Sheriff’s Station, (760) 256-4838, at 225 E. Mountain View, Barstow.
  • Big Bear Sheriff’s Station, (909) 866-0100, at 477 Summit Blvd., Big Bear Lake.
  • Central Station, (909) 387-3545, at 655 E. Third St., San Bernardino.
  • Chino Hills Police Department, (909) 364-2000, at 14077 Peyton Drive, Chino Hills.
  • Highland Police Department, (909) 425-9793, at 26985 Baseline Avenue, Highland.
  • Morongo Basin Patrol Station, (760) 366-4175, at 63665 29 Palms Highway, Joshua Tree.
  • Needles Police Department, (760) 326-9200, at 1111 Bailey Ave., Needles. The Needles collection site will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, April 23.
  • Twin Peaks Sheriff’s Station, (909) 336-0600, at 26010 Highway 189, Twin Peaks.
  • Victorville Police Department, (760) 241-2275, at 14200 Amargosa Road, Victorville.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs. Visit dea.gov/ and click on DEA National RX Take Back or call 1 (800) 882-9539 or contact the Sheriff’s Public Affairs Division at (909) 387-3700.