Sacramento County encourages everyone to go through their medicine cabinets to discard unused/expired medications properly. Helping people dispose of potentially harmful prescription drugs helps to reduce addiction and stem overdose deaths.
With opioid overdose deaths increasing during the pandemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration announces its 20th Take Back Day is scheduled for April 24. At its last Take Back Day in October, DEA collected a record-high amount of expired, unwanted, and unused prescription medications, with the public turning in close to 500 tons of unwanted drugs.
Over the 10-year span of Take Back Day, DEA has brought in more than 6,800 tons of prescription drugs. With studies indicating a majority of abused prescription drugs come from home medicine cabinets from family and friends -- clearing out unused medicine is essential.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. has seen an increase in overdose deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 83,544 Americans overdosing during the 12-month period ending July 1, 2020, the most ever recorded in a 12-month period. The increase in drug overdose deaths appeared to begin prior to the COVID-19 health emergency but accelerated significantly during the first months of the pandemic.
The public can drop off potentially dangerous prescription medications at collection sites which will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations in order to maintain the safety of all participants and local law enforcement.
Locally, drop-off locations include the Sacramento Police Department, DEA – Sacramento District Office and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office.
Tablets, capsules, patches and other solid forms of prescription drugs, as well as vaping devices (batteries removed) and cartridges, will be collected. Liquids (including intravenous solutions), syringes and other sharps, and illegal drugs will not be accepted.
To provide solutions, Sacramento County is an active participant in the Sacramento County Opioid Coalition
that is comprised of a regional coalition of healthcare professionals, community-based organizations, law enforcement, county agencies and concerned citizens.
The Sacramento County Opioid Coalition goal is to work collaboratively on a comprehensive plan to address the opioid epidemic effectively with the following strategies:
- Promoting safe prescribing
- Expanding treatment access
- Promoting safe medication disposal
- Encouraging early intervention treatment and recovery
- Overdose prevention
- Expanding public education and media outreach
The Sacramento County Opioid Coalition website provides additional information including a list of current stakeholders, upcoming events and a calendar of the group’s progress. To join the Coalition or learn more about their efforts, visit their website
Regional San reminds that flushing unused or expired medications down the sink or toilet or in the landfill can pollute the environment.