The Orange County Sheriff’s Department is joining forces with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 28. Residents can bring unwanted, unused, and expired prescription medications for safe disposal with no questions asked.
In Mission Viejo, the event will take place from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the south end of the City Hall parking lot at 200 Civic Center.
The need for such an event is there. In 2008, 4.7 million teens reported abusing prescription drugs at some point in their lives. This is a .2% increase from 2006. During the past 5 years, 113 deaths by prescription and/or over-the-counter drugs were reported in various Orange County cities. The ages ranged from 15 to 26, and 77% of the deaths were male while 23% were female.
The City has taken a proactive approach toward the problem since September 2009, providing residents with a secure medication disposal container at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center where they can safely deposit their drugs without risk to people or the environment. Call the community center at 949-470-3062 before dropping off your medications to ensure that the container has space available. The center is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. The site has been a successful receptacle as the traffic flow has required an increase in volume collection. Regardless, Mission Viejo Police Services is taking a hard look at the statistics, which reveal the City leads in the number of these deaths (17) due to this problem. Newport Beach and Huntington Beach follow with 16 deaths. Raising awareness of the severity of the issue and opportunities to rid local homes of these hazards is the goal of the take-back program.
“I am very pleased with the efforts of the Mission Viejo Crime Prevention Team and am appreciative of City’s willingness to partner with us in combating this issue head on,” said Lt. Chris Wilson, Chief of Mission Viejo Police Services. “The final key element for success is community involvement. I invite all residents to take part in this ‘Take-Back Day’ and rid your homes of unwanted or no-longer-needed prescription and over-the-counter medications. Together, we can make a difference.”
Three past “Take-Back Days” resulted in 995,185 pounds (498.5 tons) of medication removed from circulation. Mission Viejo residents are encouraged to participate in this life-saving event. For more information, click here.