Big Bear News – Big Bear, CA – The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 21st opportunity in 11 years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs. Bring your pills for disposal on Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to any one of the below-listed collection sites. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
Last April, the public turned in 839,543 pounds – 420 tons of potentially dangerous, expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for disposal at over 5,000 collection sites across the country. This brings the total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA since the Fall of 2010 to 14,524,391 pounds or 7,262 tons.
Unused or expired prescription medications are a public safety issue, leading to potential accidental poisoning, misuse, and overdose. Proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. 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. Also, 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. “Educating the public on the proper disposal of unused medicines has led to over 7,200 tons of prescription drugs being turned in. The success of this program is evident; I believe residents are aware of this service being provided to them every six-months and they plan for it,” said Sheriff Shannon Dicus.
With COVID-19 safety protocols in place, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will have fewer locations available this year, however, five (5) locations will be participating with the collection of unused prescription medications, one location being in Big Bear Lake. They will be available on Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. and no appointment is necessary. Big Bear location is at the Big Bear Sheriff’s Station, located at 477 Summit Boulevard, Big Bear Lake.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department encourage every citizen to look in their homes for any old, unused prescription medication and bring them to one of the listed collection sites for disposal. For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 23rd Take-Back Day event, go to https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.
Year round prescription drug drop-off is also available during business hours at the Brenda Boss Family Health Center, located at 41820 Garstin Dr, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315.
Any public inquiries can be made to 1-800-882-9539 or, contact the Sheriff’s Public Affairs Division at 909-387-3700