The Orange County Sheriff’s Department in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice on Saturday, September 29 will provide multiple locations throughout Orange County – including Mission Viejo – for residents to turn in their unused or expired prescription medications.
The City of Mission Viejo and the Sheriff’s Department will host a drive-thru drop off location from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the City Hall parking lot at 200 Civic Center. All medications collected at this site will be safely destroyed by the Drug Enforcement Agency in a manner friendly to the environment.
The need for such an event is evident. In April of this year, 552,161 pounds (276 tons) of unwanted or expired medications were dropped off at collection centers for safe and proper disposal at 5,659 take-back sites across the country. Of that total, 165 pounds of unused medication was collected at Mission Viejo’s Civic Center location. These numbers highlight the potential for an even bigger problem with prescription drug abuse.
Children, teens, and friends of family will often turn to the family medicine cabinet to experiment with drugs. Phenobarbital, Valium, Xanax, Ambien, Codeine, Oxycontin, Vicodin, Dexedrine and Ritalin, to name a few, are commonly found in medicine cabinets, and all have the potential to be abused. In addition to potential physical abuse, most prescription drugs today have street value and can be resold to support other ongoing addictions.
This issue has also prompted the City to host the screening of an eye-opening film October 4 about prescription drug abuse in Orange County. The 7 p.m. “Pills are Killing our Kids” presentation at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center will feature the movie “Behind the Orange Curtain,” the real story of what’s happening throughout Orange County. Following that screening, adults and teens (12 and over) on October 10 are encouraged to attend “Prescription and Over the Counter Drug Abuse: What you should know” presentation. The night includes detailed information, a question-and-answer period and frank discussions about the trends and issues. For more information, click here.
Folks are invited to the Oct. 4 and Oct. 10 presentations, and the public is encouraged to take the issue of removing unused and expired prescription medications from the medicine cabinet seriously. Along with storing needed prescription medications in a secured cabinet, doing so is as important as changing the batteries in your smoke detector. Both can be lifesaving.
For more information, call 949-470-8433.