Police are urging residents to drop off unwanted pills at a collection site on Saturday in order to prevent drug theft and abuse.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday at the OASIS Senior Center in Corona del Mar, the Newport Beach Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration will give residents the chance to get rid of expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs from their homes. The collection is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
According to police, the medication collection addresses a vital public safety and public health issue because "medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse and abuse."
Flushing medicines down the toilet or throwing them in the trash both pose potential safety and health hazards, police reported.
More than 7 million people aged 12 and older abused prescription drugs in 2010, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Nearly one in five teens has taken a prescription medication to get high, without having his or her own prescription, reports DrugFree.org.
Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at more than 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners, according to police.
In its four previous collection events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills
The OASIS Senior Center is located at 801 Narcissus Avenue in Corona del Mar.