(Originally published in the 4/6/16 edition)
Some people have medicine cabinets filled with prescription drugs, some of which have either expired or are no longer needed. There are many ways to dispose of these pills, including throwing them in the trash or flushing them down the toilet or sink. However, the Food and Drug Administration cautions against either of these methods in most circumstances because of the negative impacts they could have on the environment, therefore reading instructions for disposal either on the container or online is highly recommended.
So what can Solano County citizens with overflowing medicine cabinets do with all those unwanted prescriptions? If they wait until Saturday, April 30, they can drop them off at one of seven locations.
The Drug Enforcement Agency will be hosting the 11th Annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Since its inception in 2006, the DEA has managed to take in more than 4 million pounds of unwanted or unneeded prescription pills in attempt to stop the abuse of prescription disposals. The Prescription Drug Take-Back Day enables people to surrender their medications in a safe manner.
"When it comes to getting rid of unwanted, unneeded or expired prescriptions, many people don't know how to properly dispose of them, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away with household trash – both potential safety and health hazards," Narcisa Untal, Solano County Integrated Waste Management Senior Planner, said in a statement. “Disposing of medications at take-back events helps protect our local lands and waterways as well as prevent misuse and abuse.”
The Drug Take-Back Day will be taking place at seven locations in Solano County: the police departments in Benicia, Vallejo, Vacaville, Dixon and Rio Vista; and the Solano County Sheriff-Coroner's Office and the 60th Wing of Travis Air Force Base, both located in Fairfield. Items can be dropped off at all locations from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., except at the Vacaville Police Department, which will be accepting donations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please remove all personal information or empty contents into a sealable plastic bag. Liquids and creams should be properly sealed as well. Needles, sharps and lancets will not be accepted but can be brought to a sharps collection container at NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield or VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville. For more information on what is acceptable to donate, visit Recycle.SolanoCounty.com.