Palm Desert and other Valley residents are encouraged to sort through their medicine cabinets this week and clean out any expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
It's all a part of the Palm Desert Sheriff's Station's part in the National Take Back Initiative, an event that's sponsored by the the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to draw attention to the dangers of prescription medication abuse. It will be held held nationwide on Saturday, April 27.
"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," Palm Desert Police Captain Kevin Vest reported in a press release. "In its five previous Take Back events, DEA and its partners took in over 2 million pounds—over a thousand tons—of pills."
Vest said this will be the sixth time in three years that Palm Desert has taken part in the turn-in event— which is free and anonymous.
Riverside County residents last year disposed of 2,124 pounds of outdated drugs during the "Take Back" program, according to Riverside County sheriff's Lt. Jim Armstrong.
Police say the program helps address a "vital public safety" issue.
"Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse," Vest said. "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."
The Palm Desert Sheriff Station, located at 73-705 Gerald Ford Drive, will serve as a turn-in point for the drugs on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.