Big Bear Lake, CA, April 22, 2013 – The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs.  Bring your medications for disposal to the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station (477 Summit Blvd.) on April 27 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The service is free and anonymous. No appointment is necessary, and no questions will be asked.

Last September, Americans turned in 244 tons of prescription drugs at over 5,200 sites operated by the DEA and its thousands of state and local law enforcement partners.  In its five previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2 million pounds of pills.

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, as medicines can contaminate water.

“The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department remains committed to their partnership with the DEA.  It is imperative that residents are aware of the proper way to dispose of unused prescription medications,” said Sheriff John McMahon.