From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Grass Valley Police, the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County, and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give the public its sixth opportunity in three years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your medications for disposal to downtown Grass Valley and the corner of South Auburn and Neal Streets. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners. In its five previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2 million pounds — over a thousand tons — of pills.
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. In addition, 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.
In addition to the Take Back Days, three local pharmacies now host permanent drop boxes that are open daily — Kmart, Rite Aid and Save Mart — in addition to the one in the lobby of the Grass Valley Police Department, providing easy and convenient ways to safely dispose of your unneeded prescription medications.