KAISER PERMANENTE, WEST COVINA POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND DEA TEAM UP FOR NATIONAL DRUG TAKE BACK DAY
Baldwin Park, CA – On September 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Kaiser Permanente, the West Covina Police Department, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have teamed up for the National Drug Take Back Day to give the public an opportunity to safely dispose of their expired, unused, and unwanted medications. The collection will take place at the Kaiser Permanente West Covina Medical Offices located at 1249 S. Sunset Avenue, West Covina. Items that will be accepted include prescription and over-the-counter medications. Items that will not be accepted include used syringes/lancets and household hazardous waste such as paint, oil, and batteries.
“We are eager to partner with the West Covina Police Department and the DEA to provide this opportunity for members of the community to safely dispose of their unwanted or expired medications without contaminating our environment and water systems,” says Reyna Del Haro, Director of Public Affairs, Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park Medical Center.
Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at over 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners. In its four previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that waste away in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines—flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash—both pose potential safety and health hazards.