Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital will serve as a collection point for unwanted prescription medications during National Prescription Drug Take Back Day this coming Saturday.
Santa Clarita Valley residents can drop off unwanted medications outside the main hospital building on Saturday, October 22, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. –no questions asked.
The semi-annual event is a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) initiative. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.)
In partnership with ACTION Family Foundation, KHTS, and local law enforcement, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital has participated in this national event for the past several years.
According to DEA officials, in April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds—about 3,200 tons—of pills.
The DEA initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. According to the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 6.5 million Americans abused controlled prescription drugs. That same study showed that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. 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.
For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs, go to the DEA Office of Diversion Control website.