Editor's note: This article has been updated with additional Orange County collection sites.
Prevent prescription drug theft and abuse by dropping off unwanted pills Saturday at one of several Orange County collection sites.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the drop-off sites, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, local police departments and the Drug Enforcement Administration will collect from the public expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.
According to police, medicines left unused in home cabinets are "highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse."
The collection is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
- Aliso Viejo Sheriff's Substation, 11 Journey, Aliso Viejo
- Fountain Valley Police Department, 10200 Slater Ave., Fountain Valley
- Kaiser Permanente Irvine Medical Center, Alton/Sand Medical Offices, Building 1, 6670 Alton Parkway, Irvine
- Laguna Beach School District parking lot, 550 Blumont St., Laguna Beach
- Laguna Hills City Hall, 24035 El Toro Rd., Laguna Hills
- Laguna Niguel City Hall, 30111 Crown Valley Parkway, Laguna Niguel
- Mission Viejo City Hall, 200 Civic Center, Mission Viejo
- San Clemente Police Services, 100 Avenida Presidio, San Clemente
- San Juan Capistrano City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto, San Juan Capistrano
- Woodgate Park Parkwood Court, Yorba Linda
The OCSD reports that 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.
More than 7 million people aged 12 and older abused prescription drugs in 2010, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Nearly one in five teens has taken a prescription medication to get high, without having his or her own prescription, reports DrugFree.org.
Every day 2,500 teenagers use a prescription drug to get high for the first time, according to OCSD. National studies show the majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from friends and relatives, including the home medicine cabinet, police said.
Flushing medicines down the toilet or throwing them in the trash both pose potential safety and health hazards, according to the OCSD.
Last April, Americans turned in 552,161 pounds—276 tons—of prescription drugs at more than 5,600 sites operated by the DEA and nearly 4,300 state and local law enforcement partners, according to the OCSD.
In its four previous collection events, DEA and its partners took in over 1.5 million pounds—nearly 775 tons—of pills.