SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced that
consumers who have prescription drugs that are no longer needed or are expired can
safely dispose of them on National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday,
Unused medications in homes create a public health and safety concern because they
are highly susceptible to accidental ingestion, theft or misuse. The proper disposal of
unused drugs protects the environment and helps save lives.
Visit the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) website for locations throughout
California, or by calling (800) 882-9539. Events throughout the state-run from 10:00
a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There is no charge.
Consumers can anonymously drop off pills and other solids, such as patches and well-sealed liquids. The DEA has also authorized the collection of vape devices (minus
batteries) and cartridges at the collection sites. However, there will be no collection of
sharps waste, such as needles and syringes at these sites.
According to the 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.4 million Americans
abused controlled prescription drugs. The study shows that a majority of abused
prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine
During the National Prescription Drug Take-Back event in April, federal, state and local
law enforcement partners across the country collected nearly 469 tons of unwanted
prescription drugs. Californians disposed of more than 34 tons of unwanted drugs in
that same event. Please go to the CDPH YouTube channel to view the Prescription
Drug Take-Back Day Video.