The 13th National Drug Take Back Day was held in various sites around San Joaquin County and all across the country on April 29.
“Drug Take Back Day” is sponsored by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and community partners throughout San Joaquin County.
It provides millions of medical consumers with the opportunity to properly dispose unwanted, unneeded or expired medications free of charge.
According to the DEA, the initiative is to reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion in the nation.
It also provides education of health care providers, patients, parents and youth. The DEA has also established prescription drug monitoring programs in all 50 states.
All pills must be sealed in a plastic bag or in their original container. Once the pills are collected, they will be turned over to the DEA for disposal.
“It sounds good because we have a lot of people who are on drugs and addicted to drugs,” said Delta student Betty Henderson. “It’d be a good way for them to dispose them if they’re willing.”
In previous events, more than 7.1 million pounds of pills were turned in, according to the DEA.
The most abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from medicine cabinets at home. That can lead to accidental poisonings and overdoses, which makes proper disposal of unused medication important.
“I have a lot of friends that take drugs for medicinal uses. I don’t do anything but I do have friends that do it, and I know they get a lot of crap because they want to do it out in public,” said Delta student Mark Perez.
According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than 6.4 million Americans age 12 and over, 2.4 percent of the population, abuse prescription drugs.
The Drug Take Back initiative is to reduce drug abuse by providing the general public a free and safe way to throw away unwanted pills and other solids like patches.
Liquids, needles or other sharps will not be accepted according to the DEA’s website.