On Saturday, October 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the San Joaquin County Opioid Safety Coalition, Safe Kids San Joaquin County, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and local law enforcement will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. And for the first time, people can dispose of their vaping devices and cartridges with batteries removed. Bring your items for disposal to the following sites:
- Public Health Services WIC Program Office, 620 N. Aurora St., Suite B, Stockton
- Code 3 Uniforms, 304 Lincoln Center (North), Stockton
- Lathrop Senior Center, 15707 5th St, Lathrop
Sites cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps; only pills, patches and vaping devices without batteries will be accepted. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last fall, people throughout the nation turned in nearly 469 tons of prescription drugs at nearly 6,300 sites operated by the DEA and its state and local law enforcement partners.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. San Joaquin County Public Health Officer Dr. Kismet Baldwin cautions, “Unused or expired medicines that are just sitting around our homes are highly susceptible to falling into the wrong hands, or being misused or abused.” Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health shows year after year that the majority of misused and abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including someone else’s medication being stolen from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, people are now advised not to dispose of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash. Both pose potential safety and health hazards.
The public can dispose of medications and sharps year-round at 20 free medication and sharps disposal kiosks located throughout San Joaquin County. For kiosk locations visit, https://www.sjgov.org/solidwaste/recyclingcat?ID=21679&t=Medications.
For more information about prescription drug disposal or the October 26 Take Back Day event, go to www.DEATakeBack.com.