STOCKTON, CA – United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) released the final numbers in November 2011 summarizing the Free Sharps and Prescription Drug Disposal Events that were held on October 29, 2011 throughout the Country.
Nationwide 188.5 Tons were collected; the State of California collected 39,264 pounds which includes the San Francisco Field Division that collected 15,587 pounds.
San Joaquin County is part of the San Francisco Field Division which collected 1,100 pounds through 9 sites throughout the area. The events were coordinated with San Joaquin County Sheriff and Department of Public Works, Manteca Police and City of Manteca, Tracy Police and City of Tracy, the University of the Pacific Police, and the Rho Pi Phi Fraternity at the University of the Pacific Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Most of the pharmacies in the county provided information for their customers.
To put it into perspective, San Joaquin County collected 334 pounds in April. It is speculated that the increase is due to an increase in partnerships and locations from 3 in April to 9 organizations throughout the county.
The events mission was “to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.”
Another perk to the collection of prescription drugs is to prevent unsafe disposal of unused or unwanted drugs. Drugs not collected are at risk of being disposed down drains or through garbage collection which leads to the contamination of water systems.
Until new regulations are in place, local law enforcement agencies like the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office, partnering with the DEA, will continue to hold occasional prescription drug collection events. For additional drug disposal event locations visit www.DEA.gov or call 800-882-9539.