Several area law enforcement agencies, including the Stanislaus Drug Enforcement Agency, and police departments in Turlock, Ripon, Manteca and Livingston, are taking part in the National Drug Take-Back Day Saturday.
The aim is to prevent pill abuse and theft by giving people a safe way to rid their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
At the last event in September, U.S. residents turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at more than 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 more than 2 million pounds of pills.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse, according to a news release from Turlock police. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the United States are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses involving the drugs.
In addition, people are advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety and health hazards.
For a list of participating agencies and locations, go to usdoj.gov.