By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
It is time to once again clean out your medicine cabinet so expired and no-longer-needed prescription drugs do not get into the hands of others.
The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.
Drop-off locations include the Poway Sheriff’s Station, 13100 Bowron Road; and Scripps Rancho Bernardo Clinic, 15004 Innovation Drive in Carmel Mountain Ranch.
Prescription and over-the-counter medications will be accepted anonymously for free, proper disposal with “no questions asked.” Needles and other sharps cannot be accepted.
According to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, “Unwanted, unused or expired prescription drugs have been determined to present substantial risks to our community by either falling into the wrong hands, or by damaging our environment through improper disposal.”
Teens, young adults and criminals who abuse or sell drugs have been known to obtain pharmaceutical controlled substances from medicine cabinets in the homes of their relatives and friends, authorities said.
According to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, commonly abused drugs by those between the ages of 14 and 30 in San Diego County are Vicodin, Adderall, Soma, Xanax, Ambien, Codeine, Methadone, Fentanyl and OxyContin. They obtain them by stealing or purchasing on the street for $40 to $80 per pill.
This trend has been seen throughout the county, especially in upper middle class neighborhoods including Poway and Rancho Bernardo, officials said.
As for environmental concerns, these are due to medications being flushed down toilets and eventually entering the environment and ground water supply because synthetically created drugs are usually not removed during the water-treatment process.
Each time officials hold a take-back day, thousands of pounds have been collected.
Those who cannot make it to the Oct. 26 event can bring their medications to secure drop boxes between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays. Boxes include those in the Poway Sheriff’s Station, 13100 Bowron Road; 4S Ranch Sheriff’s Substation, 10282 Rancho Bernardo Road; and San Diego Police Department Northeastern Division, 13396 Salmon River Road in Rancho Penasquitos.
For more information, go to
or call the toll-free Rx Abuse Hotline at 877-662-6384.