“Substance abuse is a chronic, relapsing disease. The good news is that it is treatable. I applaud those who are embarking on the road to recovery and encourage them to continue on that same path.”

Susan Bower, Director


Prescription Drugs Take-Back-Day Poster


Take-Back Day Poster-English


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Take-Back Day Poster-Spanish


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National Take-Back Day Press Release


Drug Disposal Information


Got Drugs?





Prescription drugs are the second most commonly abused category of drugs, behind marijuana and ahead of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs. The National Institutes of Health estimates that nearly 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. Most abusers of prescription drugs take them right out of the family medicine cabinet. So it is important to properly dispose of medications that are no longer needed.

Unused prescriptions must be handled carefully to keep them from falling into the wrong hands or into our water supply. Do not flush them down the toilet, put them down the drain, or simply throw them in the trash can. In order to dispose of unwanted medications properly, the medication should be taken out of its container and mixed with used coffee grounds or kitty litter before putting them in the trash. But the safest way to dispose of unwanted medication is to drop it off—bottle and all—at one of the collection centers provided by local law enforcement and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency on National Take Back Day.

National Take-Back day occurs on Saturday, October 29th. This is the third year of the annual event. It is an event that provides citizens across the country with the opportunity to properly dispose of old and unwanted medications. It’s a free, anonymous and legal way to get rid of potentially dangerous prescription drugs that have been cluttering medicine cabinets. Properly disposing of these medications protects the environment, and most important, protects all of us.

“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the first two Take-Back events is simply staggering—309 tons—and represents a clear need for a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” said DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart.

“The unprecedented amount of prescription drugs turned in by citizens will keep dangerous, addictive drugs from being abused. I commend the DEA for its successful nationwide prescription drug take-back day and for their work to make it easier for communities to stay healthy, while safeguarding the environment.” said Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy.

  In case you miss the National Take-Back Day, San Diego County Sheriff has established year round drop off sites at all County Sheriff Stations and detention facilities. Please call the San Diego County Sheriff at: (858) 565-5200 for more information, or visit their website at:  



...Resources from Federal Agencies



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