Dozens of drop-off locations are available for unneeded medications throughout San Diego County for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) 22nd National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day in partnership with local law enforcement agencies. 

There are 23 drop-off locations at Police, Sheriff's stations, and military hospitals throughout San Diego County, and more than 4,000 nationwide. This bi-annual event runs from 10 a.m. through 2 p.m. at several locations are found on the DEA’s webpage. 

With the passage of the DUMP Opioids Act in 2021, the public may now use drop boxes at Veterans Administration medical centers. 

Drop-off locations will collect tablets, capsules, patches, and other solid forms of prescription drugs. Materials such as liquids, syringes, other sharps, and illicit drugs will not be accepted. 

The DEA said vaping devices and cartridges are accepted, but lithium batteries must be removed.

This comes as drug overdoses reach unprecedented levels at a national level. Overdoses are up 16 percent from the previous year, claiming more than 290 lives every day, according to the DEA. 

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said disposing of unneeded medications can help prevent drugs from being misused. In its 12 years of operation, the DEA estimates it collected more than 15 million pounds of medication.  

“Overdose deaths continue to hit tragic record highs. I encourage everyone to dispose of unneeded prescription medications now,'' Milgram said. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 106,000 people in the United States died from a drug overdose in the 12- month period ending November 2021. About 75 percent of those fatalities are due to opioid use.  

Recent data from CJ Flash found that about half of unintentional deaths due to drugs involved methamphetamine (meth) in San Diego County. Additionally, there was a 126 percent increase involving fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine. 

Those who are unable to drop off their unneeded medications on Saturday are able to utilize year-round receptacles at more than 13,000 pharmacies, hospitals, police departments, and businesses nationwide.

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