April 27 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: Here’s how to safely dispose of unneeded medicines

Local non-profit to host a meeting on April 19 on opioid overdose and fentanyl prevention ahead of the collection. 

April 27 is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day: Here’s how to safely dispose of unneeded medicines
Photo by Haley Lawrence / Unsplash

REDLANDS, Calif. — National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is almost upon us, which means it is time to clear out your cabinets of unneeded medications to help prevent misuse.

Why it's important: A majority of people who use prescription medication for nonmedical purposes obtain the drug from a family member or friend, according to a report published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The small act of safely and anonymously turning in prescription drugs can make a significant difference and help reduce drug-related abuse and violence. 

Details: National Drug Take Back Day is an initiative created by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to address the drug overdose epidemic. 

The event takes place twice a year, once in October and then again in April. Last year’s prescription take back day on Oct. 28, 2023 removed almost 600,000 pounds of prescription medications from 4,675 collection sites across the country, according to the DEA

Zoom out: In 2021, 220 people died each day from an opioid overdose, according to the Center for Disease control. Since the 1990’s, deaths related to opioids have steadily increased, with over 75% of drug overdose deaths in the United States having involved opioids in 2021.

San Bernardino County, like many other areas around the nation, has struggled with this epidemic. The county reported 380 deaths related to opioid overdoses in 2022 alone, according to the California Department of Public Health. The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District also reported that since February 2021, 14 teens from the county have tragically died from fentanyl overdoses.

Alarming facts and figures such as these serve to emphasize the importance of education, prevention and intervention efforts to combat substance abuse. 

Related events: In support of this impactful initiative, the Healthy East Valley non-profit will host a drug free coalition meeting to discuss opioid addiction prevention. This event is part of a monthly series that takes place every third Friday from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at The Hall, located at 122 Cajon Street in Redlands. 

This month’s meeting on April 19 will focus on raising awareness about prescription drug abuse and provide valuable resources to combat substance abuse within the community. Representatives from San Bernardino County Public Health and Behavior Health will be guest speakers at the meeting and lead informative sessions about opioids, narcan training, fentanyl prevention and behavioral health services related to substance abuse and mental health. 

Moving forward: The nearest National Take Back initiative collection site to Redlands is the Highland Police Department located at 26985 Base Line Street. Collections will take place from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

If you are unable to make it on April 27, there are other local options available to safely dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals. The following sites are year-round drop-off locations that are authorized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the DEA:

  • Albertsons at 450 E. Cypress Ave
  • CVS at 101 Redlands Mall
  • Vons at 522 N. Orange Street
  • CVS at 1795 E. Lugonia Ave
  • Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy at 1301 California Street

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