Nearly 1,000 Pounds of Unused, Unwanted Prescription Drugs Safely Disposed of – Take Back Day a Success!

GRASS VALLEY, CA – Thank you, Nevada County, for keeping our kids and our water drug free! On April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Grass Valley Police, the Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County collected a record amount of unwanted and expired medications helping to make the Drug Enforcement Agencies (DEA’s) Sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day a complete success.

171 pounds of prescription medications were  dropped off for safe disposal last Saturday during a 4 hour period for the  Take Back Day event in downtown Grass Valley  at the corner of South Auburn and Neal Streets. Combined with more than 800 pounds of previously discarded medications from all four local disposal sites over the last six months, a total of  1,048 pounds of medications have been safely disposed of so far this year.

For community members who were unable to drop off at this location last weekend, Nevada County hosts four permanent disposal sites throughout the year.

Safe Disposal Convenient Locations:

  • Grass Valley Police Department 129 S. Auburn Street, Grass Valley, CA (24-hour Safe Disposal site for prescription drugs)
  • Kmart Pharmacy 111 W. McKnight Way, Grass Valley, CA 8am – 10pm Monday – Sunday (Prescription drug & Over-the-Counter & Sharps)
  • Save Mart Pharmacy 12054 Nevada City Hwy, Grass Valley, CA ( Prescription drugs Only)
  • Rite Aid Pharmacy 720 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, CA (Prescription drugs & Sharps)

Northern California and Central Valley residents turned in 18 tons of unwanted and expired medications (36,004 pounds) at 211 collection sites manned by 147 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies that partnered with DEA on the event. In Grass Valley alone, 171 pounds was received within a 4-hour period bringing the total local collection for this event to 1,048 pounds. Nearly 68 tons (135,860 pounds) has been collected from the Central Valley and Northern California during the six prescription drug take-back events held since September 2010.

Nationwide, 742,497 pounds (371 tons) of prescription medications were collected from members of the public at more than 5,829 locations manned by 4,312 state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies that partnered with DEA on the event.. When added to the national collections from DEA’s previous five Take-Back events, more than 2.8 million pounds (1,409 tons) of prescription medications have been removed from circulation.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish 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.

Four days after the first event, Congress passed the Secure and Responsible Drug Disposal Act of 2010, which amends the Controlled Substances Act to allow an “ultimate user” of controlled substance medications to dispose of them by delivering them to entities authorized by the Attorney General to accept them. The Act also allows the Attorney General to authorize long term care facilities to dispose of their residents’ controlled substances in certain instances. DEA is drafting regulations to implement the Act. Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like [agency] and the DEA will continue to hold prescription drug take-back events every few months.